College Admissions Scandal: No Prison Time for Former Stanford Coach

College Admissions Scandal: No Prison Time for Former Stanford Coach

Stanford is the only school where all of the money paid in connection with the scheme — $770,000 in total — actually went to university programs.

At several other schools, at least some part of the bribes made its way into university accounts, while the rest went to individual coaches or businesses they controlled, prosecutors said. The University of Southern California, for instance, received more than $1.3 million in donations to its athletic programs that prosecutors have said were bribes, according to charging documents. Athletic programs at Wake Forest University and the University of Texas at Austin received smaller amounts, according to prosecutors.

The donations point to troubling pressures in the culture of college sports, where at least some coaches were willing to cross ethical and legal lines to raise money for their teams. Nine coaches were among the 50 people charged in the case, who also included Hollywood actresses and prominent figures from the worlds of law and finance. More than 20 people have pleaded guilty or agreed to plead guilty so far, including five coaches.

Rick Eckstein, a professor of sociology and criminology at Villanova University who has written extensively on college sports, said that universities had enabled the scheme by giving athletes preferential treatment in admissions.

“Without that system in place, none of this fraud could have taken place,” he said.

The money donated to the Stanford sailing team included $500,000 from a couple from China who prosecutors say paid William Singer, the college consultant at the center of the scandal, $6.5 million in connection with their daughter’s application to Stanford, according to prosecutors.

The charge against Mr. Vandemoer centered on two other students, for whom Mr. Singer promised donations if Mr. Vandemoer would recruit them. Mr. Singer made donations, prosecutors say, though the two students ultimately did not complete their applications to Stanford.

Mr. Vandemoer said in the interview that he believed at the time that all three students had at least some sailing experience, though he said he did not check the credentials provided by Mr. Singer, who has pleaded guilty in the admissions scandal.

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