Admissions Scandal Produces Reviews, Resignations | Athletic Business

Admissions Scandal Produces Reviews, Resignations

Fallout continues from Operation Varsity Blues, the code name for the investigation into the college admissions scandal rocking higher education.

A number of non-revenue sports coaches at prestigious schools around the country were implicated in the investigation, which alleged that they accepted bribes from wealthy individuals in exchange for helping prospective students get a leg up in admissions under the guise of being athletic recruits.

Many of the implicated individuals faced institutional consequences ranging from administrative leave to outright dismissal or resignation, and the list continues to grow longer as the Providence Journal reports that University of Rhode Island women's tennis coach Gordon Ernst has stepped down from his position.

Ernst was charged in connection to the scandal during his tenure at Georgetown University. He's alleged to have designated at least 12 applicants to the school as tennis recruits in exchange for accepting $2.7 million in bribes.

Ernst had been on administrative leave since March 12.

Elsewhere, Yale University announced that it would launch an investigation into how athletic recruitment plays into its admissions practices, according to the West Hartford News. Yale’s former women’s soccer coach Rudolph Meredith had been implicated in the admissions scandal before becoming a cooperating witness.

From AB: Yale Takes Steps to Shore Up Recruitment, Admissions


School president Peter Salovey announced the investigation on Friday, writing "The ongoing federal investigation has publicized wrongdoing by one Yale coach who participated in this scheme; however, I have decided that we must conduct our own searching review in order to learn whether others have been involved in activities that have corrupted the athletic recruitment and admissions process."

Yale AD Victoria Chun is in the process of implementing new oversight policies for prospective student-athletes, Salovey wrote.

"Ms. Chun will conduct a review of coaches’ proposed rosters of recruits before they are sent to the admissions office, and situations in which a recruited athlete fails to make a team will receive close scrutiny," he wrote. "These measures will help prevent opportunities for undermining the fairness and integrity of the Yale College admissions process."

At UCLA, the Los Angeles Daily News reports that AD Dan Guerrero released a statement, his first since news of the DOJ investigation broke. In a defense of his department's practices, Guerrero outlined the admissions process for student-athletes which he called "among the most demanding and thorough in collegiate athletics but, as the recent news illustrates, it is not foolproof."

Jorge Salcedo, the only UCLA coach implicated in the scheme, has since resigned from his position as head men's soccer coach.

Guerrero wrote that his department's process vets student-athletes based on athletic ability, academic preparation and engagement. Coaches submit a list of prospective student-athletes to athletic admissions officials, who in turn present them to UCLA's Student-Athlete Admissions Committee.

"Inherent in the process is a level of trust that the administration places in the coaches and their evaluations of the abilities and talent levels of prospective student-athletes," Guerrero wrote in the statement.

UCLA is reportedly reviewing "every aspect of the student-athlete admissions process."

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