Ernst Wins the Grand Slammer

Put his lucrative years of fraud and bribery down to advanced racket technique: A golden boy tennis coach at Georgetown University who taught the likes of the Obama kids, he recognized early that he could trade bogus athletic admission recommendations on behalf of the dim spawn of the super-rich and charge super-sums for the favor. Details here.

Hard to think of an easier way to earn millions than having your assistant write a note to the admit office insisting that the tennis team needs this one great high school grad on it! With that money, Ernst bought a Chevy Chase (a neighborhood just up the road from UD that gets even higher prestige points than UD‘s own ‘thesda) house practically next door to the house of a super-rich lobbyist where – fun fact – Les UDs spent an evening, long ago, in the company of Morton Kondracke and other denizens.

Ernst was just gonna brazen it out and keep hitting winners through his upcoming trial; but facing an array of witnesses who would no doubt add details to his scoring record, he decided to plead guilty and go to jail. Meanwhile, a serious investigation of ever-scandal-ridden Georgetown University needs to happen.

Everyone Steals.

There’s a popular children’s book called Everyone Poops; UD has one in mind called Everyone Steals. Seriously, do you know anyone (yourself included) who hasn’t stolen? If I didn’t already know that almost everyone steals, sometimes at a high level, the keeping of this blog over many years has certainly drummed it into me.

And my focus hasn’t even been billionaires (“Whenever people say, “Oh he earned his money himself,” I always say the same thing: “No one earns a billion dollars. People earn $10 an hour; people steal a billion dollars.”), but rather universities and university people. Universities, where you might think rates of simple theft – much less systematic looting – might be less impressive than in corporate, for-profit, settings.

And I mean, for all I know they are. But I also know that alongside academic institutions historically laced with larceny (Yeshiva University; the University of Louisville; several others), there are zillions of institutions — especially those blessed with this nation’s biggest sports programs — thick with thieves. To really see the depth of embezzlement, though, look beyond the wowza money corruption of big-time school sports and consider the sweet li’l Varsity Blues scandal, full of people like the crisply outfitted tennis coach at Georgetown University, who in his pre-carceral days taught the Obama girls how to play. Relentlessly, over many years, with the help of various co-conspirators, he shook down parents desperate to get their dim spawn into Georgetown. Gordon Ernst made millions in this way.

Or like the soccer coach at UCLA who, with a years-long, mob-like persistence identical to the Georgetown tennis coach, charged rich desperadoes $100,000 a pop to sleaze their kids in. He explained to the judge that, you know, he bought a house he couldn’t afford.

Wow. Usually the hardened career criminal on campus can be found somewhere on or around the football team.

I guess at classier, godlier, places, it’s … the tennis coach…

Now, when UD says ‘godly’ she doesn’t mean Libertine University’s Jerry Falwell Jr. I want you to rid your thoughts of President My Brothers in Christ Just Gave My Big Ol’ Dick Ten and a Half Million Dollars to Shrivel Up and Go Away. Jerry’s debauchery has ruled the airwaves for the last couple of weeks; but today I want you to turn your attention to Georgetown University’s Gordon Ernst [scroll down], a truly committed professional long-term larcenist who somehow for over a decade was allowed to swan along the courts of Georgetown impersonating an upscale (gave the Obama kids lessons) tennis coach while fraudulently admitting any kid whose parents gave him two hundred thousand dollars. His wife seems to have been his accomplice and everything… And not one of the Jesuit bros suspected a thing?

The dude just got hit with more charges today – if his criminal enterprise hadn’t been shut down, half of Georgetown’s current student body would be made up of bad tennis players with billionaire forebearers – and it’s clear from descriptions of his MO that if you didn’t fully pay up he came after you. Ask Amin Khoury about that pesky $20,000 Gordie was owed.

I mean, Georgetown really needs to sit down and ask itself why it’s so corrupt, with all its Catholic airs. Something’s deeply wrong with a flamboyantly religious school which long harbored – knowingly? unknowingly? both options are bad – so flamboyantly criminal a person. Throw in Georgetown’s difficulty breaking relations with a whole host of priestly sexual criminals on and around campus, and it makes UD wonder whether she truly wants to live in Adrian Vermeule’s Cathophate.

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.

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