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The Operation Varsity Blues investigation is a landmark moment for college admissions. More than 50 wealthy parents have been revealed to be participating in an expensive fraud scheme orchestrated by William “Rick” Singer that nets them their kids’ spot at some of America’s most elite universities.

One of those universities is Stanford. John Vandemoer is a former Stanford University sailing coach, and he was the first person sentenced in the Varsity Blues college admissions scandal. 

He is our guest in Episode 206 of Class Dismissed. His interview comes on the heels of the release of his new book, “Rigged Justice.”

The book is the candid and true story of how Vandemoer was drawn unwittingly into a web of deceit – it outlines the sophisticated scheme designed to take advantage of college coaches, which plays to the endless appetite for university fundraising.

John Vandemoer, Stanford University’s former head sailing coach

Vandemoer admits he took money for the university sailing program, but he maintains he never took money for his personal use. A distinction that separates him from many of the other coaches linked the scandal. 

“I was sentenced to a $10,000 fine. Two years of supervised release, and the first six months of that, I had an ankle monitor. I was on house arrest,” says Vandemoer.  

In Episode 206 of Class Dismissed, Vandemoer walks us through his first encounter with FBI and IRS agents and offers his perspective on how we may be able to get the University admissions process back on track. 

He says it’s essential for students and parents to realize that there are a lot of great Universities for students.

“We have to stop being obsessed with working on going for the same schools all the time and focusing on the US News and World Reports List,” he says. “And also taking financial considerations out of the US News and World Reports List, I think would be really helpful.” 

To hear our full interview with Vandemoer listen to Episode 206 of the Class Dismissed podcast. You can listen to the latest episode of Class Dismissed on your favorite podcast app or iTunes.

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