There are always ways to get around requirements. Some of the ones I've heard of include a track record of publications in peer reviewed journals, petition by faculty members in the department to let a particular candidate in, or just plain being famous. I've even heard of people including a cashier's check prepaying tuition for the entire program along with the application. However, if hundreds of RA programs in the US no longer require the GRE/GMAT for doctoral admissions, than I would have to say that's news to me. Even at USC, the 30 minute paper option is only for the EdD, not the PhD, which suggests to me that path is intended for people already working as teachers in California.