WASHINGTON — Former University of Texas tennis coach Michael Center pleaded guilty on Monday in connection to the nationwide college admissions scandal, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
In a plea agreement, the former coach pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. A sentencing hearing for Center has not been scheduled. He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
Center was accused by federal prosecutors of accepting $100,000 from William “Rick” Singer as a bribe to help get a student into the university who was not a tennis recruit back in 2015.
After the school was informed of the charges, UT placed Center on administrative leave and the school fired him the following day.
Along with Center, 13 wealthy parents and others have pleaded guilty to a variety of bribery and fraud charges.
The 14 are among 50 people accused by federal prosecutors in Boston of engaging in schemes to cheat on college entrance exams and paying $25 million in bribes to secure admission for their children at well-known universities.
Also pleading guilty Monday was actress Felicity Huffman, who starred in Desperate Housewives.
In a statement issued Monday, she said she was “ashamed of the pain I have caused my daughter, my family … and the educational community.”
“My daughter knew absolutely nothing about my actions, and in my misguided and profoundly wrong way, I have betrayed her. This transgression toward her and the public I will carry for the rest of my life,” Huffman said.
Huffman and her husband, actor William H. Macy, who is not charged, allegedly made a $15,000 bribe to Singer. He arranged for an accomplice to proctor her daughter’s exam and correct her answers afterward.
Other parents are continuing to fight charges, including actress Lori Loughlin, best known for her role in Full House.