Yale Soccer Coach Caught In College Bribery Scandal Pleads Guilty Amid New Allegations

Women's soccer coach Rudy Meredith is now accused of having players write papers for his master's degree.

Students walk through the campus of Yale University
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Women's soccer coach Rudy Meredith is now accused of having players write papers for his master's degree.

Former Yale women’s soccer coach Rudy Meredith pleaded guilty today to wire fraud, and to taking bribes from parents to falsely designate their daughters as recruited soccer players to get them into the university. Part of the plea deal is that the prosecutor will recommend a low sentence and 36 months of supervised release in exchange for cooperation and a guilty plea. But now new allegations are being leveled against the coach with former players saying that he pressured them to write papers for his master’s degree.

The Daily Mail says that Meredith, 51, waived his right to a trial and said he was willing to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one charge of wire fraud. Prosecutors are also asking for forfeitures in the amount of $866,000. Meredith is out of $100,000 bail awaiting sentencing.

But now, two former women who played soccer under Meredith are claiming that the coach “coerced” them into editing and writing portions of papers for his master’s degree. Both women said that other players had complained in the past to the university, but nothing ever came of it.

“I don’t know how it didn’t become more of an issue because to me it was a clear abuse of power.”

While Rudy Meredith was pleading guilty in one courtroom, another college coach, Michael Center, 54, former head coach of men’s tennis at the University of Texas, pleaded not guilty in front of another judge to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and mail fraud.

Other coaches who have been indicted include John Vandemoer, the head sailing coach at Stanford, Gordon Ernst, the head of women’s tennis at the University of Rhode Island, and previously of Georgetown University, Donna Heinel, the senior women’s athletic director at USC, and Laura Janke is a former assistant soccer coach at USC. Both Heinel and Janke reportedly took payments from actor Lori Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli who are charged with paying $500,000 to get their daughters into USC.

Mass Live is reporting that Meredith has been cooperating with the FBI since last year, and he is the one who led authorities to Rick Singer, who is the head of the scheme. Singer has now pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, conspiracy to defraud the United States, and obstruction of justice on Friday, and will be sentenced in June.

The majority of the parents and coaches charged in the college bribery scandal have pleaded not guilty to their charges, and will have to wait for their court dates or make a deal about a plea.