Stanford: Admissions scandal mastermind approached 7 coaches

By Darryl Coote

Dec. 4 (UPI) -- William "Rick" Singer approached seven athletic coaches at Stanford University in the past decade to participate in his admissions bribery scheme, the school's president said.

Stanford University President Marc Tessier-Lavigne made the revelation Tuesday after the completion of an external review of its policies and practices that was ordered following news that one of the school's sailing coaches accepted bribes in exchange for recommending students for admission.


"Singer directly or indirectly approached seven Stanford coaches about potential recruits between 2009 and 2019," Tessier-Lavigne said in a statement published on the California university's website. "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."

However, the review found that "there was no systematic way for concerns about Singer to be elevated and addressed," he added.

Tessier-Lavigne said the review, which was conducted by law firm Simpson Thacker & Bartlett LLP, consisted of interviews with more than 55 people and reviews of more than 35,000 records and found no evidence of any other fraudulent admission schemes during the 10-year period.


Former Stanford sailing coach John Vandemoer was sentenced to one day in prison for time served and 2 years of supervised release in June after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit racketeering for agreeing to accept $610,000 in bribes from parents to gain admission for their children to the prestigious university.

Vandemoer, who received the bribes for agreeing to designate two students as athlete recruits, was the first person sentenced in the multi-million dollar university admissions scandal that has involved the nation's rich and elite.

Dozens have been charged for their involvement in the scheme, including actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman. In March, Singer pleaded guilty to a slew of charges including racketeering conspiracy.

Tessier-Lavigne said the review made several recommendations to protect Stanford's admissions process from potential future misconduct, all of which were accepted.

"Stanford embraces these recommendations and will be moving swiftly to implement then," he said. "Taken together, these steps provide for clearer policies, more training, fuller communication and stronger vetting that will serve as a bulwark against fraudulent efforts in the future."

He said the university will be conducting a review within the next 18 months to ensure the recommendations have been properly adopted.


Latest Headlines