Former University of Texas men’s tennis coach Michael Center was sentenced to six months in prison Monday for accepting $100,000 in bribes to falsely tag an applicant as a recruit to get the student admitted.
He’s the first college coach to receive time behind bars in the national college admissions scandal after a former Stanford sailing coach avoided prison last summer.
“This is a case, I think, that society has an interest in punishment,” said U.S. District Judge Richard Stearns. Center’s actions “impugn the entire integrity in … the education system in this country.”
Center, 55, sobbed and was consoled by his attorneys and family for several minutes. His prison term is tied for the second-longest in the admissions case. Business executive Douglas Hodge, a parent who paid into the scheme led by mastermind Rick Singer four times, totaling $850,000, was sentenced to nine months in prison.
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