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Sixty million freshmen can’t be wrong.

Jared Kushner, Morris Esformes, Ralph Lauren’s kids, and millions of others (well, haha, not millions; only the very rich can buy elite college admissions for their kids) have been at it for years, and who knows why the DOJ decided today to make some noise about it… And they made a lot of noise – it’s all over the front pages! – cuz famous actresses and all are involved…

I mean, you knew, UD-reader — you already knew, right? — that what Philip Esformes did to get his uncoordinated dummy into U Penn via his amazing basketball skills is standard practice among a certain slice of this country’s obscenely well to do, ja? We are talking here after all about the cubs of some of America’s most powerful predators; you think they’re not going to use their money on the cubs’ behalf with the same scorched-earth aggression they used to accumulate the money in the first place?

And yes, UD is waiting with the same warm pleasurable anticipation you are for the secret recordings of these parents (full list, with adjuvant malefactors, here) as they open up about the vagaries of genetics… The kid’s a real flop and I have no idea why… It’s actually been an embarrassment in my career that I failed to produce even one above average child with any of my wives… See what you can do for her… I can pay the school or the coach or whatever up to ten million…


So there are too many people being arrested at the moment to cover them all; let’s just focus on UD‘s close neighbor, Chevy Chase, Maryland’s own Gordie Ernst. (I actually had dinner, a few years ago, a few doors down from Ernst’s two million dollar house; the host was a big fancy lobbyist.) Let’s see what Gordie, then Georgetown University’s tennis coach, did.

[Ernst] designated at least 12 applicants as recruits for the Georgetown tennis team, including some who did not play tennis competitively, the indictment alleges. This assisted those applicants in their quest to gain admission to the school, according to the indictment.

The indictment alleges that on Aug. 19, 2015, [William] Singer instructed an applicant to send Ernst an email containing false information about their tennis ability. In fact, the applicant did not play competitive tennis. Ernst then forwarded the email to Georgetown’s admissions office “to confirm my usage of three spots,” or that the applicant would be part of his recruiting class.

In April of 2016 the parents of the applicant sent $400,000 to [a bogus] charitable account set up by Singer. Between Sept. 2015 and August of 2016, Ernst received checks totaling $700,000 from one of the charitable accounts.

Gordie made millions in this way, but UD understands his desperation. Here’s a long article about the tragedy of Georgetown’s outdoor courts being temporarily unavailable due to construction. This meant that Gordie couldn’t, for a year or two, run his summer tennis camps.

Ernst will also not be able to share in the revenue generated by the camp, which previously was an important financial source for the coach. Ernst said that losing the camps has been a “big financial hit” for him and his family.

Luckily, as fate would have it, at the very same time Gordie was pocketing millions of dollars by taking bribes to admit lots of unadmittable people to Georgetown!


Georgetown University removed Gordon Ernst as tennis coach in December 2017, after an internal investigation found that he had violated university rules concerning admissions, said a spokeswoman, Meghan Dubyak.

HYUK! Guess nobody told University of Rhode Island, which hired Gordie right after Georgetown booted him! But then the Catholic Church is famous for… moving its… bad actors… around from… parish? to parish….

But what’s truly beautiful is the way Gordie spun his desperate end of the road move back to Rhode Island as a shimmering golden no-place-like-home local-boy-makes-good tale:

“We are thrilled to have Gordie Ernst join the URI Athletics Family as our new Head Women’s Tennis Coach,” [the URI AD] said. “Gordie is highly regarded in the tennis community and has had terrific success throughout his career. I really like the fact that he is a native Rhode Islander looking to continue his career back in his home state.”

And luckily, the AD might have added, no one needs to bribe their way into URI, so we’re safe.

Gordie weighed in too.

 Throughout my life as a student-athlete and coach, I have had the good fortune to meet many great people and travel the world. While this has been hugely fulfilling, my heart has always remained in Rhode Island. I was born and raised in Rhode Island, my mother is the ultimate Rhode Island sports mom and enthusiast. My late father left huge shoes for me to fill as an inductee into the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame.

I’m gonna bet dad’s gazing down from heaven right now, eyes aglimmer, saying You little shit. I told you to stop stealing.

Margaret Soltan, March 12, 2019 1:29PM
Posted in: where the simulacrum ends

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4 Responses to “Sixty million freshmen can’t be wrong.”

  1. john Says:

    telling your child that he is being allowed to take the SAT at home while paying someone else to take it in his name (and allowing him to think he “earned” that score) deserves some sort of special punishment.
    i can’t even imagine what might be appropriate.

  2. Polish Peter Says:

    When I first heard about the Esformes case, I wondered to myself, “how come this hasn’t happened before..or more often?” How naive of me. Athletic admissions are an obvious weak link in the evaluation of applicants. It’s a short step for a shady coach from persuading the admission office that a recruit is capable of college work to creating a fictional athlete out of a paying customer. Very clever of these folks to target obscure non-revenue sports where it’s easier to create a biography. Also, how very pathetic are those parents who paid for the tests to be manipulated given that the schools they were targeting don’t actually rely on SATs and ACTs by themselves but simply use them as one component of an overall academic profile (although maybe when combined with the athletic scam, it might make some sense.)

  3. charlie Says:

    Polish Peter, I was recruited by an “elite” school to play football. Granted, this was back in the 80s, but if they wanted you, they got you. What I came to find out is that highly selective school want to claim they create a “well balanced experience” for the little darlings, which includes lots of sports and athletic teams. Apparently, that’s excellent marketing, and helps to create admission requests.

    I let y’all in on something. The better looking that teenager is, the better their chances of getting accepted. Being a high school teacher gave me an insight into the actual process elite unis utilize to get their enrollments, You’re right Peter, it ain’t all about test scores…

  4. Van L. Hayhow Says:

    Ernst really was a high school athletic legend in RI. His father played hockey and tennis and later coached both. He brought his son up to play both. He spent 6 months a year on each sport, not touching a tennis racket, for example, when hockey season started, and vice versa. The other top high school players in each sport tended to play year round in their sport and were in awe of the fact he was playing only six months a year and was better than they were. I actually once watched him play a tennis match. Not bad.I guess now we know how he could afford that house.

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