Wake Forest University volleyball coach will plead not guilty in school admissions cheating scandal, attorney says

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Wake Forest University's head volleyball coach will plead not guilty to a conspiracy charge after a college admissions bribery scheme landed him and many other prominent actors in trouble with the law.

Bill Ferguson's attorney spoke outside a US courthouse in Boston on Monday. He said Ferguson would enter a not guilty plea, because he had no place in this cheating scandal.

Wake Forest announced March 12 that it placed Ferguson on administrative leave and named Randi Smart as interim head coach.

"Wake Forest is aware of the allegations regarding head volleyball coach Bill Ferguson. The University has retained outside legal counsel to look into this matter," the university said in a statement.

Ferguson is one of 50 people named by the Department of Justice as being involved in the scheme. Other big names include actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin. Huffman, the Emmy-winning star of ABC's "Desperate Housewives," was arrested by midday.

Federal investigators said they uncovered 33 parents who collectively paid $25 million to a college admission counselor to get their children into top universities.

The admission counselor, William "Rick" Singer, allegedly bribed college officials, coaches and entrance exam administrators to help students get into schools "not on their merits but through fraud," US Attorney Andrew Lelling said.

The former head sailing coach at Stanford University has admitted to accepting bribes.

John Vandemoer was the second person to plead guilty Tuesday in the sweeping college admissions bribery scheme. He is charged with racketeering conspiracy.

Stanford said that Vandemoer has been fired.

The consultant, Singer, pleaded guilty earlier Tuesday.

At least nine athletic coaches were among those charged.

The coaches worked at such schools as Yale, Stanford, Georgetown, Wake Forest, the University of Texas, the University of Southern California and the University of California, Los Angeles. A former Yale soccer coach pleaded guilty and helped build the case against others.
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