In Wake Of Bribery Scandal, Gov Abbott Urges Colleges To Reevaluate Admissions Process

Chris Fox
March 14, 2019 - 9:26 am
UT Austin Campus

© Bryan Roschetzky |

AUSTIN (1080 KRLD) - When asked about the admission scandal on Wednesday, Texas Governor Abbott said it’s appropriate that federal authorities be able to continue their investigation into UT admissions.

This came afterfFederal authorities on Tuesday accused the University of Texas tennis coach Michael Center with accepting a $100,000 bribe to get a student accepted into the school through the tennis program. Center was charged with "conspiracy to commit mail fraud" and "honest services mail fraud."

While at a Governor’s mansion press conference, Abbott had a message for all Texas universities. “It’s important for every university to go back and re-evaluate, to study and to investigate there admissions processes to make sure that nothing like this either is happening or can happen.”

On Wednesday the university relieved Center of his duties as tennis coach. University President Greg Fenves released the following statement.

"As many of you know, criminal charges were filed yesterday against a number of staff members and coaches at eight universities for alleged bribery and admissions fraud. One University of Texas employee — Men’s tennis coach Michael Center — was charged as part of an extensive federal investigation.

We take the criminal allegations against Michael Center very seriously and, as of today, he has been terminated as a UT employee. I have asked Vice President for legal affairs Jim Davis to conduct a thorough review of the alleged 2015 fraud that Mr. Center has been charged with, and to determine whether the university has the necessary rules and procedures in place to prevent violations in the future.

The integrity of UT admissions is essential to our mission as a research university and to the students and families we serve. That is why any act of wrongdoing, no matter how singular, matters so deeply.

At UT, tens of thousands of students, faculty and staff members, coaches and admissions officers conduct themselves with honor and distinction every day.

Any ethical breach overshadows their accomplishments and violates our culture of service and distinction. Moving forward, we must continue to strive for the highest ethical standards at the University of Texas."