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Former Georgetown Tennis Coach Pleads Guilty In Admissions Scandal

ByAlexis Peltzer-Harding

Published on Fri Sep 17 2021

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3 min read

Former Georgetown Tennis Coach Pleads Guilty In Admissions Scandal

Gordon Ernst was the head coach of the tennis team at Georgetown. He began his coaching career there in 2006, previously being a coach for the University of Pennsylvania and Northwestern.

He was also widely known for helping the Obama family with their tennis abilities. Specifically, he's spoken out about his experience in coaching Michelle Obama.

His abilities were widely known as being impressive and people would seek him out. As a result, he was recognized in the New England Tennis Hall of Fame in 2015.

Gordon Ernst

He left Georgetown in 2018 but that remains the coaching experience that he is best known for.

Regardless of his past, Ernst has recently been under investigation. The scandal started in 2019 when he was arrested for being part of a group that would submit false test scores and documents for aspiring students to allow them to get into higher-level schools.

"Operation Varsity Blues" is the operation that Ernst is being convicted for. He accepted more than $2 million in bribes to accept these kids. This wasn't the first time that he was suspected of something out of the ordinary.

In 2018 when he left Georgetown is was because he was under investigation regaurding the athletes he was recruiting for the team. They seemed to be of lesser athletic ability than would normally be accepted with the team's standards.

However, the incident was allegedly not reported to his next employers and he was able to continue coaching the sport.

Charges have been pushed on him and upwards of 50 others that were involved with the plot. His legal team has been putting together a case for 2 years, the time that Ernst has been fighting the charges.

On Wednesday, it was public knowledge that Ernst had pled guilty in the case. His legal team had fought for him, but with the publicity of his wrongdoings and the evidence it was hard to built a case.

His trial was the first one in the string of trials that will ensue on the other participants. They were sure to set a strong precedent in his punishment. He will see no less than a year in jail and has the potential to spend 4 years behind bars.

He will also be giving up the money that he earned through the scheme. Ernst is not the only one that has pled guilty or plans too. As of now, 47 other participants in the scandal have plead guilty for the crime.

It seems that, from the court and jury's standing on the overwhelming evidence of their issue, pleading guilty would be the most beneficial to avoid a much more serious situation. The parents are also being persecuted, 33 of the 47 are parents of the false recruits.

Some people are already behind bars as well, the longest being a parent, Douglas Hodge. He has served 9 months in jail so far for what he did.

Ernst isn't the first and won't be the last in the ongoing court case to take down the people that ruined the college recruiting process for years. Giving children false hope, favoritism, and denying worthy candidates is all being avenged through the courts.

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