University of Texas Named in ‘Operation Varsity Blues’ Class Action Suit
The University of Texas has been named as one of several defendants as part of a class action lawsuit over 'Operation Varsity Blues' college admission scam.
Two college students in California have filed a class action lawsuit against eight universities connected to 'Operation Varsity Blues', where rich and famous people bribed school and testing officials for preferential admissions placement and testing treatment for their children. The schools named in the lawsuit are:
- Yale University
- University of Southern California
- Stanford University, UCLA
- University of San Diego
- University of Texas
- Wake Forest University
- Georgetown University
As reported by CNBC, the two students allege that the universities knew, or should have known, of the unfair and illegal admission practices since the money paid by the parents ultimately found its way into school accounts and the hands of school and athletic officials. The law firm representing the students issued a statement saying,
The students who filed the complaint didn't receive what they paid for — to participate in an application process free of fraud.
According to the complaint, these schools represented that their admission process would be based on the applicants' merits, considering their character and performance. Instead, the students allege that what they got was a process tainted by bribes and school officials who failed to assure an honest application process.
It's a straightforward claim and a simple remedy. The students want their money back. They request that anyone who paid an application fee to any of the eight named universities but was denied admission gets their application fee returned.
The students are suing for $5 million, which will be distributed among other plaintiffs if the judge grants the class action status of the case.
In response to the controversy, a University of Texas spokesperson said,
Like many students and families across the country, we are also outraged that parents, outside actors and university employees may have committed fraud surrounding admissions at universities.
The University of Texas has a thorough, holistic admissions process. The actions alleged by federal prosecutors against one UT employee were not in line with that policy and may have been criminal. They do not reflect our admissions process.
CNBC lists three people from Texas so far facing charges in connection with 'Operation Varsity Blues'. Niki Williams, an assistant teacher and ACT test administrator from Houston, and Martin Fox, the president of a private tennis academy in Houston, are both facing charges of racketeering conspiracy, while UT's men's tennis coach, Michael Center, is being charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and mail fraud.