A former Yale University soccer coach has been sentenced to five months in jail for his involvement in a college admissions scandal, despite his work with investigators to uncover the sweeping scheme.
Rudy Meredith pleaded guilty to wire fraud in March 2019, for accepting bribes amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars to help potential students get in to Yale as purported soccer recruits – including, in one case, someone who did not even play soccer, prosecutors argued.
Meredith was the head coach for the Connecticut Ivy League university’s women’s soccer team from 1995 to 2018. He was sentenced in a Boston federal court on Wednesday to five months behind bars, one year probation and nearly $570,000 in fines and forfeitures.
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Prosecutors and defense attorneys recommended no jail time other than the single day he had already served. But U.S. District Court Judge Mark Wolf ruled that he “betrayed” the victims, other Yale soccer team athletes, by cheating them out of playing for a better team, and potential students who were cheated out of a chance to play.
“You committed a very serious crime and you didn’t have to do it,” Wolf told Meredith.
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With a shaky voice, Meredith apologized to the court and acknowledged that he allowed his own greed to destroy his career and his reputation.
“It’s all my fault and I am going to pay for this for the rest of my life,” he told the court.
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Meredith worked with investigators in April 2018 to ultimately foil the plot, nicknamed “Operation Varsity Blues,” which was carried out by ringleader William “Rick” Singer.
Prosecutors said Meredith led investigators to Singer, and he allowed them to record him seeking $450,000 from a father willing to pay for his daughter to be accepted to Yale as a purported athlete.
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If not for his “truthful, complete and reliable” cooperation, Wolf said he could have spent several years in prison.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.