Former Stanford head sailing coach John Vandemoer will not serve a prison sentence for his part in the college admissions scandal. Vandemoer was the first person to be sentenced as a result of the federal sting called Operation Varsity Blues. In US District Court on June 12, Judge Rya W. Zobel sentenced Vandemoer to one day in the pokey, dismissed as time served. But the sentence includes two years of supervised release, with the first six months in home confinement. And the judge hit Vandmoer with a $10,000 fine. So it’s not as if the coach walks away with a mere slap on the hand. The prosecution had asked for a 13-month sentence behind bars.
Vandemoer apologized for his actions. He had pled guilty to one count of racketeering conspiracy for accepting $770,000 in bribes on behalf of the school’s sailing program. He kept none of the money for himself. According to court documents quoted by NBC News, “Vandemoer received three separate payments of $500,000, $110,000 and $160,000 between fall 2016 and October 2018 on behalf of the Stanford sailing program to falsely represent that three clients of [ringleader William ‘Rick’] Singer’s were elite sailors — and thus deserving of special admission to the private school.” Of the three students, Stanford admitted one through the normal admissions process — not as a sailor. The other two went to other universities.
Stanford fired Vandemoer on March 12, mere hours after the scandal broke and the indictments came down.
And what about the $770,000? Stanford is investigating charitable uses for the moolah. According to university spokesman Brad Hayward, the school is consulting with California Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s office on how to redirect the funds to the public good.