Ex-Yale Soccer Coach Sentenced in Bribery Scandal

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The ex-Yale University coach who cooperated with authorities to help uncover the nationwide college admissions bribery scandal was sentenced to prison. 

The Associated Press reported that Rudolph "Rudy" Meredith, 54, the former Yale women’s soccer coach, was sentenced Wednesday to five months in prison. 

Federal prosecutors and Meredith’s defense lawyers had recommended no additional prison time beyond the one day he spent in custody. But U.S. District Court Judge Mark Wolf said Wednesday that Meredith’s greed and his victims warranted a stiffer sentence.

Meredith, who was head coach at Yale from 1995 until 2018, pleaded guilty in March 2019 to wire fraud for taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to help students get into the elite Ivy League university as soccer recruits. In one case, the recruit did not play competitive soccer, prosecutors have said, as reported by the AP.

Wolf described the victims as the members of the Yale team who were “betrayed” by being cheated out of having better teammates, as well as unknown victims — young women who might have gotten into Yale had Meredith not decided to essentially sell slots on the team. Those unknown victims may have included women from disadvantaged backgrounds, the judge said. “You committed a very serious crime and you didn’t have to do it,” Wolf said, according to the AP report. 

Meredith's lawyers in court papers said he assisted law enforcement to "atone for his inexcusable lapses of judgment." He must also pay a $19,000 fine and forfeit more than $557,000."

Before he was sentenced, Meredith issued an apology — with his voice shaking — and said he had ruined his reputation and his career because he was driven by greed and the desire to provide for his family.

“It’s all my fault and I am going to pay for this for the rest of my life,” he said.

In addition to the prison term, Meredith was sentenced to a year of probation, fined $19,000 and ordered to forfeit more than $550,000.

The "Operation Varsity Blues" investigation that Meredith assisted authorities in was centered on William "Rick" Singer, a California college admissions consultant who admitted in 2019 to facilitating college entrance exam cheating and bribing coaches to secure his clients' children's admission as phony athletes, according to a Reuters report

The investigation led 51 people to plead guilty, including actors Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman, two of the many wealthy parents Singer counted as clients. Singer faces sentencing in January.

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