Texas men's tennis coach Michael Center walks with Defense lawyer Dan Cogdell away from the United States Federal Courthouse in Austin, Texas, Tuesday, March 12, 2019. Center is among a few people in the state charged in a scheme that involved wealthy parents bribing college coaches and others to gain admissions for their children at top schools, federal prosecutors said Tuesday. [RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL/AMERICAN-STATESMAN]


Ex-UT tennis coach Michael Center could get at least a year in prison in admissions scandal

Posted April 15th, 2019


Federal prosecutors will recommend that former University of Texas tennis coach Michael Center spend more than one year in prison for accepting $100,000 to help a student get into the university under false pretenses in 2015.

The specifics of a plea negotiation approved by Center and his lawyer are outlined in a court document filed last week in Boston. In exchange for Center’s guilty plea to a single count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud, prosecutors say they will ask a judge to sentence the coach to a prison term at the low end of the sentencing guidelines. The guideline points to 15 to 21 months in prison.

Center, who is among 50 people charged with crimes in the nationwide college admissions scandal, is scheduled to enter the guilty plea on April 24. The judge in his case is not required to follow the plea agreement.In addition to time behind bars, prosecutors say they will request that Center be under court supervision for 12 months after his release and pay a fine of up to $75,000. Center must also forfeit $60,000 that prosecutors say he received from California college admissions adviser Rick Singer in exchange for helping the son of a wealthy Silicon Valley venture capitalist get into the school as a scholarship tennis player.


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