News & Politics

Disgraced Georgetown Tennis Coach Pleads Guilty in College Admissions Scandal

Gordon Ernst will be sentenced next March.

Photograph of Georgetown University via Wikimedia Commons.

Former Georgetown University head tennis coach Gordon “Gordie” Ernst pleaded guilty in Boston’s federal court on Monday. Ernst was a part of a college admissions bribery scheme to help children of wealthy families get admitted into top universities as recruited athletes between 2012 and 2018.

Court documents show that Ernst accepted $2.7 million in bribes from a California non-profit called the Key Foundation to designate at least 12 applicants as recruits for the Georgetown tennis team, including some who did not play tennis competitively, which opened the door for the applicants to gain admission into the school.

He plead guilty to multiple counts of federal programs bribery and one count of filing a false tax return. He will also forfeit $3.4 million that he earned from the scheme.

Ernst will be sentenced in March 2022. Prosecutors recommended that he face between one and four years in prison with two years of supervised release.

More than 50 people have been charged in the case, including actors Lori Laughlin and Felicity Huffman, and nearly four dozen of them have accepted plea deals.

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Damare Baker
Assistant Editor

Before becoming an assistant editor, Damare Baker started out as an editorial fellow for Washingtonian. She has previously written for Voice of America and The Hill. She is a graduate of Georgetown University, where she studied international relations, Korean, and journalism.