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Former UT tennis coach to plead guilty in admissions fraud case

By Catherine Marfin

The Texas Tribune


Former University of Texas at Austin men’s tennis coach Michael Center has agreed to plead guilty of taking a $100,000 bribe in 2015 to admit a student into the university, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Massachusetts announced Monday.

Center was fired by the university last month just one day after he was implicated in the college admissions scandal, which spans six states and involves potentially millions of dollars. Center has agreed to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud, according to the release.

Thirteen parents, including actress Felicity Huffman, involved in the admissions scandal are also expected to plead guilty.

Center and the other defendants were charged with conspiring with William “Rick” Singer, who helped bribe SAT and ACT exam administrators to take college entrances exams in place of students, as well as bribe university coaches and administrators to facilitates students’ entrance into universities across the country.

Center accepted $60,000 in cash from Singer, as well as $40,000 that went directly to the school’s tennis program, in exchange for designating the student as a recruit to the tennis team in 2015, according to the release.

Center’s sentence has not been determined. He faces a maximum of 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine, according to the press release.

Disclosure: The University of Texas at Austin has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune’s journalism.

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