Yale University has rescinded the admission of a student whose family allegedly paid $1.2 million and falsely presented her as an elite soccer player, all to get her accepted to the ultra-competitive Ivy League school.
Yale’s announcement Tuesday marked the first instance of a university taking back a student’s admission based on the massive “Operation Varsity Blues" scandal, which ensnared dozens of wealthy parents, including celebrities, who sought illicit ways to get their kids into college. In this instance, the parents allegedly paid the scheme’s ringleader, William Rick Singer, to bribe the Yale soccer coach to get their daughter accepted and onto the team.
Yale didn’t name the student due to privacy laws. Yale's women’s soccer coach, Rudy Meredith, allegedly received a $400,000 check for designating the student as a soccer recruit, and Singer allegedly received the rest of the $1.2 million for orchestrating the elaborate scheme. As part of “Operation Varsity Blues,” Meredith has been charged with wire fraud for allegedly accepting bribes to endorse students like the unnamed student as recruits.
"Yale investigated the allegations, and the admission of the student who received a fraudulent endorsement has been rescinded," Yale said in a statement. The university’s president, Peter Salovey, said the school has been able to prove that all students admitted on athletic endorsements played at least one season, with the exception of the student whose admission was rescinded.
Singer was also charged with racketeering conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, conspiracy to defraud the U.S., and obstruction of justice for his alleged role in the scandal. The Department of Justice charged 50 people, 33 parents of them parents, for allegedly participating in the scheme, including actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman.
Earlier this month, two students and their parents sued Yale and other universities in a class-action complaint that alleges Yale’s admissions process is “warped and rigged by fraud,” according to the Yale Daily News.
Cover image: This Sept. 9, 2016, photo shows Harkness Tower on the campus of Yale University in New Haven, Conn. (AP Photo/Beth J. Harpaz, File)