- REUTERS/Brian Snyder
- Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne said in a letter to the university community that the ringleader of the college admissions scandal, William “Rick” Singer, approached seven coaches at the school about trading bribes for students’ recruitments to the school at athletes.
- Tessier-Lavigne said an external review of the case revealed that only the school’s former sailing coach, John Vandemoer, accepted Singer’s deal.
- Vandemoer accepted $610,000 in bribes from Singer to facilitate the admission of students as sailing recruits. Vandemoer said he funneled the money he received into the school’s sailing program.
- Tessier-Lavigne said the school is adopting a code of written policies that takes a stance on donations and athletic recruits, saying admission “cannot be bought, and no donor should ever be under the impression that it can.”
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The ringleader of the college admissions scandal approached seven coaches at Stanford University about admitting potential recruits in exchange for bribes, but only one coach took the bait.
In a letter to the university community about the the scandal, deemed Operation Varsity Blues by federal investigators, Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne said an external review of the case found no evidence of further fraud at the school than what had previously been found by investigators.
The school’s former sailing coach, John Vandemoer, was sentenced to one day in jail after admitting to accepting $610,000 in bribes from college admissions scandal ringleader William “Rick” Singer to facilitate the admission of students as sailing recruits. Vandemoer said he funneled the money he received into the school’s sailing program.
But Tessier-Lavigne said Singer’s efforts stretched much further than just Vandemoer.
“Singer directly or indirectly approached seven Stanford coaches about potential recruits between 2009 and 2019,” Tessier-Lavigne said. “The review found no evidence that any employee of Stanford Athletics other than the former head sailing coach agreed to support a Singer client in exchange for a financial consideration.”
Tessier-Lavigne said Stanford has reviewed its policies and practices related to athletic admissions and found coaches had no formalized way to raise concerns about Singer.
But, Tessier-Lavigne said, the school’s admissions system requires athletic recruits to be received by the admissions office, which “appears to have made it harder for Singer to manipulate the process.”
Stanford said it would now adopt a code of written policies that takes a stance on donations and athletic recruits, saying admission “cannot be bought, and no donor should ever be under the impression that it can.”
The school announced earlier this year that it has rescinded the admissions of three students connected to the college admissions scandal.
Vandemoer told the Wall Street Journal in June that he felt pressured to raise money for Stanford’s sailing program when he took the bribes.
“If I could take the development piece and get recruits at the same time that I thought were going to help my team, I thought that was a no-brainer,” he said at the time. “Now, obviously, that was too good to be true, and I was misguided in all of that.”
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