Rudy Meredith, the former Yale women’s soccer coach, is accused in the massive bribery and college entrance exam fraud scheme that also snared two well-known actresses and other prominent university coaches.
The lengthy court documents paint a picture of an elaborate alleged scheme in which wealthy parents knowingly allowed people to take college entrance exams for their kids or in which coaches allegedly pretended children were athletes when they were not. The investigation focused on William “Rick” Singer, a 58-year-old Newport Beach man who ran Edge College & Career Network LLC and the nonprofit Key Worldwide Foundation.
The affidavit in support of the criminal complaint alleges that “beginning in or about 2011, and continuing through the present, the defendants—principally individuals whose high-school aged children were applying to college—conspired with others to use bribery and other forms of fraud to facilitate their children’s admission to colleges and universities in the District of Massachusetts and elsewhere, including Yale University, Stanford University, the University of Texas, the University of Southern California, and the University of California–Los Angeles, among others.”
Actresses Felicity Huffman, Lori Loughlin, and others are included in the lengthy indictment, which you can read here and below. At least 50 people are accused in the scheme. Meredith’s full name is Rudolph Meredith.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Meredith Is Accused in a Scheme to Falsely Pretend a Yale Applicant Played Competitive Soccer
The alleged bribery scheme involved large sums of money, court documents allege.
The documents allege that on or about November 13, 2017, Singer sent Meredith an athletic “profile” that “falsely described Yale Applicant 1 as the co-captain of a prominent club soccer team in Southern California.”
According to the court documents, “Meredith designated Yale Applicant 1 as a recruit for the Yale women’s soccer team – thereby facilitating her admission to Yale – despite the fact that, as he knew at the time, Yale Applicant 1 did not play competitive soccer.”
On or about January 1, 2018, after Yale Applicant 1 was admitted to Yale, Singer mailed Meredith a check in the amount of $400,000, drawn from a charitable account, the documents allege.
In or about the spring and summer of 2018, relatives of Yale Applicant 1 paid Singer approximately $1.2 million in multiple installments, the affidavit alleges. It further contends that Meredith did not disclose the payments to Yale.
Rudy Meredith was accused of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and honest services wire fraud as well as honest services wire fraud.
Meredith is not the only coach arrested. The other coaches accused are former Georgetown men’s and women’s tennis coach Gordon Ernst; former Wake Forest women’s volleyball coach William Ferguson; former USC women’s assistant soccer coach Laura Janke; former USC head women’s soccer coach Ali Khoroshahin; former UCLA men’s soccer head coach Jorge Salcedo; former USC water polo coach Jovan Vavic; and former Stanford sailing coach John Vandemoer.
2. Meredith Was Thanked for His ‘Years of Dedicated Service’ When He Resigned in 2018
Rudy Meredith was Yale’s head women’s soccer coach until 2018. In November 2018, the university announced in a press release that he had resigned that position.
“I want to thank Rudy for his many years of dedicated service and leadership to our women’s soccer program,” said Director of Athletics Victoria M. Chun in the release. “I have admired Rudy’s successes and I am grateful for all he has contributed. I wish nothing but continued success for Rudy and his family.”
Meredith stated at that time that he wanted to explore new things. The release quotes him as saying, “”After 24 years at the helm of the women’s soccer program, it is time to explore new possibilities and begin a different chapter in my life. It is the right time to hand the team over to the next Yale women’s soccer coach who can guide the team into the future.”
3. Meredith Was a ‘Coach of the Year’
The Yale press release details the many honors that Rudy Meredith received during his time as Yale coach.
“Meredith was a three-time Northeast Region Coach of the Year and guided the Bulldogs to the NCAA College Cup in 2002, 2004 and 2005,” it states.
“In 2005, the Bulldogs won a school record 15 games, captured the first outright Ivy League title in Yale history and advanced to the third round of the NCAA College Cup for the first time in school history. In the second round, Yale upset third-seeded Duke 2-1, scoring the winning goal with one second left in the second half, one of the most dramatic finishes in the history of the tournament. The Bulldogs were ranked 13th in the final NSCAA/adidas national poll.”
The release also noted: “In 2017, Meredith was selected as the New England Coach of the Year by the New England Soccer Journal after guiding the Bulldogs to an 11-4-2 overall record, the most overall wins since 2007. In addition, Yale was unbeaten (6-0-2) at home for the first time since 2005 and finished third in the Ivy League with a 4-2-1 record.”
4. Meredith Has a Master’s Degree in Coaching Education
Meredith has a master’s degree in recreation and sports science/coaching education from Ohio University. He received the degree in 2018.
According to his LinkedIn page, he also has a bachelor’s degree in physical education training from Southern Connecticut State University, graduating in 1991. Under activities and societies, he listed pickelball and soccer.
He graduated from Richard Montgomery High School in 1986.
Before being named the head women’s soccer coach at Yale, he was the assistant soccer coach at the university, a position he held from 1991 to 1994, according to his LinkedIn page.
5. When He Resigned, Players Gave Mixed Comments About Meredith
Some players had positive things to say about Rudy Meredith when he resigned as a coach.
“Coach Rudy has been instrumental in fine tuning me as a player,” forward and 2017 Ivy League Co-Offensive Player of the Year Michelle Alozie said, according to Yale Daily News. “I remember after my freshman season, I had a meeting with the coaches and Coach Rudy told me something like, ‘Michelle, I believe you can be a better player than you think. But to get there, it is going to be a lot of hard work and I am going to have to get on you so that you can grow into the player I know you can be.’”
However, the Yale Daily News also reported that Meredith’s resignation was not a complete surprise, quoting one anonymous former player as saying, “He didn’t put as much effort into his job as you would hope for from a head coach. He also struggled to motivate the team and connect with players in a way that would inspire us to play for him. We didn’t have practices that gave us the preparation necessary for games, in terms of fitness or scouting other teams or things in between. To put things in perspective, many players felt like they got worse over the four years playing at Yale.”