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Operation Varsity Blues: Fired Stanford Sailing Coach John Vandemoer pleads guilty; apparently headed for an 18-month prison term after his court appearance Tuesday in Boston (photo)

Wednesday, March 13, 2019


SAN FRANCISCO (#1187) – Further to our story Tuesday morning by The Fifth Beatle, here's an excerpt from an article Tuesday night (Pacific time) on the Stanford Daily website by Elena Shao and Holden Foreman, updated after Mr Vandemoer's appearance in Federal Court in Boston Tuesday afternoon:


Stanford has terminated head sailing coach John Vandemoer after he agreed to plead guilty to accepting more than $100,000 in bribes for the University’s sailing program as part of a sweeping admissions cheating scandal — the largest college cheating case ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice.


Vandemoer accepted the money on the terms that he would recruit two students to Stanford’s sailing team despite neither one being a competitive sailor. Neither student enrolled at the University.


One student was the daughter of Massachusetts real estate developer John B. Wilson, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) affidavit. The identity of the second student is unclear, but Vandemoer reportedly accepted $270,000 in payments to Stanford’s sailing program as part of the scheme. He plead guilty in Boston federal court on Tuesday afternoon.


As part of the plea deal, Vandemoer’s attorney agreed with prosecutors to recommend an 18-month prison sentence for the former coach.


Read the full Stanford Daily article here.


We discussed the matter at some length on Tuesday's TFE LIVE. Watch a replay here. No doubt, we will have more on Friday's show. Watch it live on our Sailing Illustrated Facebook Page at 1300 Pacific.


Here's an interesting interview with Mr Vandemoer from 2014, courtesy of the Clever Pig sailing website....


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