College Coach With Local Ties Busted in Admissions Scandal


BOSTON — Coach Gordie Ernst, the former head coach of the Georgetown University men’s and women’s tennis teams, who has ties to Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard, is one of over 50 suspects caught up in the admissions scandal affecting some of America’s most elite colleges.

Ernst until recently was the head tennis coach at the University of Rhode Island. After the scandal broke he was placed on leave, URI released a statement addresssing the issue:

“The University of Rhode Island today was made aware of an indictment of head women’s tennis coach Gordon Ernst related to incidents that allegedly took place while he was head coach at Georgetown University.  As a result, the University has placed Ernst on administrative leave while it continues to review the matter. Ernst was hired by URI in August 2018 as head coach. He has not been involved in the recruitment of any current players nor in the signing of any new recruits.”

Federal indictments unsealed this week outlined a sweeping college admissions scandal in which coaches allegedly took bribes from wealthy parents to help falsify their children’s sports credentials and designate them as recruited athletes.

Ernst, who also was the personal tennis coach for former first lady Michelle Obama and her daughters, Malia and Sasha, is alleged to have taken more than $2.7 million in bribes to list 12 applicants as recruits for the Georgetown tennis team.

In many of the cases alleged in the indictments, the students “recruited” had little or no experience in the sport involved and didn’t play once they got into college.

Georgetown officials said Ernst left in December 2017 after an internal investigation found he violated admissions rules. The school said it now checks its rosters to see if students recruited as athletes are still playing.

Ernst was also the Director of Tennis at the Martha’s Vineyard Tennis Center on Martha’s Vineyard, he resigned in 2006 to take the position at Georgetown. 

Federal officials are said to be considering the forfeiture of a Falmouth property owned by Ernst.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.


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