BOSTON (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — A University of Texas at Austin tennis coach and actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin are among at least 40 people indicted in a sweeping college admissions bribery scandal.
The coaches indicted include Texas men’s tennis coach Michael Center, a sailing coach at Stanford, a women’s soccer coach at Yale, a tennis coach at Georgetown, several USC coaches, and a men’s soccer coach at UCLA.
According to the Texas Tribune, Coach Center, who is accused of taking a $100,000 bribe in 2015 by helping a student gain admission by adding him to the list of tennis team recruits, has been placed on administrative leave.
Center has amassed a 365-137 record over 18 seasons with the UT men’s team, which is considered one of the best programs in the country.
The University of Texas issued the following statement on the matter:
Integrity in admissions is vital to the academic and ethical standards of our university. The University of Texas at Austin is cooperating with federal investigators and is concerned by the allegations raised, which run counter to the university’s values. Men’s Tennis Coach Michael Center was placed on leave as soon as we learned of the charges against him, which are being fully investigated. We are continuing to gather information and review our processes. Based on what we know at present, we believe this was an isolated incident in 2015 that involved one coach and no other university employees or officers.
Two other Texans, 62-year-old Martin Fox and 44-year-old Niki Williams, both of Houston, area also facing charges in the scandal.
The indictment said —
“Beginning in or about 2011, and continuing through the present, the defendants — principally individuals whose high-school age children were applying to college — conspired with others to use bribery and other forms of fraud to facilitate their children’s admission to colleges and universities in the District of Massachusetts and elsewhere, including Yale University, Stanford University, the University of Texas, the University of Southern California, and the University of Southern California — Los Angeles.”
Actress Loughlin appeared in the ABC sitcom “Full House,” and Huffman starred in ABC’s “Desperate Housewives.” Both were charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud in indictments unsealed Tuesday in federal court in Boston.
Court documents say Huffman paid $15,000 that she disguised as a charitable donation so her daughter could partake in the college entrance cheating scam.
Court papers say a cooperating witness met with Huffman and her husband at their Los Angeles home and explained the scam to them. The cooperator told investigators that Huffman and her spouse “agreed to the plan.”
Huffman is married to actor William H. Macy.
Messages seeking comment have been left with representatives for Huffman and Loughlin.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)