Former Georgetown Tennis Coach Gordon Ernst Sentenced to Over 2 Years for Bribery

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJuly 1, 2022

AP Photo/Chris Pizzello

Former Georgetown men's and women's tennis coach Gordon Ernst has been sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison after admitting to accepting nearly $3.5 million in bribes from parents trying to get their children admitted into the university.

Per Alanna Durkin Richer of the Associated Press, prosecutors said that Ernst had six spots to give to tennis players every year. They alleged he spent at least two (and sometimes up to five) spots on unqualified students.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristen Kearney said Ernst got nearly two dozen students into Georgetown through this method and that he kept almost all of the bribe money for himself.

The Ernst arrest and sentencing were part of the wide-ranging "Operation Varsity Blues" investigation involving a litany of bribes from parents to obtain admission for their children to numerous schools, including Stanford, Yale and USC.

Rick Singer, an independent college admissions counselor, was the ringleader of the operation and worked with Ernst and others.

Regarding Ernst, U.S. District Court Judge Indira Talwani sentenced him to the longest prison term handed down in the case thus far.

Officially, he pleaded guilty to "one count of conspiracy to commit federal programs bribery, three counts of federal programs bribery and one count of filing a false tax return," per a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office (District of Massachusetts).

Ernst, 55, became Georgetown's coach in 2006. He coached at Northwestern and Penn before his time with the Hoyas.


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