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A former tennis coach at Georgetown University was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison for his role in the college admissions scandal, marking the harshest sentence to date in the so-called Operation Varsity Blues.

Gordon Ernst pleaded guilty to conspiracy and bribery charges in October 2021, admitting he accepted nearly $3.

5 million over the course of 10 years in exchange for recruiting the children of wealthy parents. Of the six spots Ernst was tasked to fill each year, the coach would give at least two, and in some cases five, to the children despite them lacking the athletic ability required for placement on the Georgetown tennis team, according to prosecutors.


"I'm most ashamed that I didn't follow what I was preaching to them," Ernst testified in court.

More than 54 parents have pleaded guilty in relation to Operation Varsity Blues, a scandal that arose after it was discovered several wealthy parents, such as celebrities Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman, had bribed college recruiters to admit their children to selective schools.

Ernst became the head coach for the men’s and women’s tennis teams in 2006, which is when he was introduced to admissions consultant Rick Singer, the mastermind behind the bribery scheme, he testified. During his tenure, Ernst offered spots on the team to nearly two dozen students, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristen Kearney.


Unlike several of the other convicted coaches, who were bribed in the form of money for their sports programs, Ernst pocketed all the money he got for himself and spent it to pay for his daughters’ private schooling and to purchase a home in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, prosecutors said.

In addition to his prison sentence, Ernst must spend six years in home confinement and must pay a fine of $3.43 million, according to Reuters.

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Kanepi reaches Citi Open final, seeking 1st title in 9 years

Washington_Tennis_83398 Kaia Kanepi, of Estonia, returns a shot against Daria Saville, of Australia, during a match at the Citi Open tennis tournament Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022, in Washington. AP Photo/Nick Wass Washington_Tennis_55119 Kaia Kanepi, of Estonia, waves after she defeated Daria Saville, of Australia, during a match at the Citi Open tennis tournament Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022, in Washington. Kanepi won 6-3, 6-1. AP Photo/Nick Wass Washington_Tennis_86926 Daria Saville, of Australia, reacts during a match against Kaia Kanepi, of Estonia, at the Citi Open tennis tournament Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022, in Washington. AP Photo/Nick Wass Washington_Tennis_21668 Liudmila Samsonova, of Russia, celebrates after defeating Xiyu Wang, of China, during a match at the Citi Open tennis tournament Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022, in Washington. Samsonova won 6-1, 6-1. AP Photo/Nick Wass Washington_Tennis_02476 Liudmila Samsonova, right, of Russia, shakes hands with Xiyu Wang, left, of China, during a match at the Citi Open tennis tournament Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022, in Washington. AP Photo/Nick Wass (1/5) Share This Gallery: Share on Facebook. Share on Twitter. Share via email. Print.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Kaia Kanepi moved within one victory of her first title in nine years, overwhelming Daria Saville 6-3, 6-1 at the Citi Open on Saturday.

Kanepi, a 37-year-old from Estonia, won the last of her four WTA titles in 2013 in Brussels. But she has enjoyed a resurgence this year, reaching the quarterfinals of the Australian Open, and credits smart scheduling for her continued good form.

“It was amazing, actually, for me. I never thought I would make quarters in Australia. I thought it’s not just my place,” said Kanepi, who previously reached the quarterfinals in the other three Grand Slam tournaments. “But I played really well, and then I continued playing well. I actually didn’t put any pressure on myself to achieve something special.”

Kanepi’s match record this year is 19-10, her most victories since 2013, and she is ranked No. 37. She plans to play two more hard-court tournaments before the U.S. Open, which starts Aug. 29.

In the final, Kanepi will face 60th-ranked Liudmila Samsonova, who breezed past Xiyun Wang 6-1, 6-1. The 23-year-old Samsonova is seeking her second WTA singles title. She won a hard-court event at New Haven, Connecticut, in 2017.

In the men’s semifinals Saturday night, Wimbledon runner-up Nick Krygios was to face Mikael Ymer, and top-seeded Andrey Rublev was set to play Yoshihito Nishioka.


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