Georgetown recommended coach despite bribery probe

A Georgetown University tennis coach is finding himself in the spotlight for his role in a nationwide college acceptance bribery scandal.

On Friday, the University of Rhode Island revealed that they received a recommendation from Georgetown for Gordon Ernst despite his role in the scandal.

Georgetown's athletic director, Lee Reed, gave the controversial coach a glowing review, helping him land the job at URI.

Reed gave the recommendation despite reportedly knowing that Ernst was repeatedly recruiting non-athletes.

On its website, URI says:

Prior to hiring Gordon Ernst in August 2018, the University conducted a criminal background check, which we do for all prospective employees. That background check showed no criminal history. The University also reached out to his references and was able to reach three out of the four references he provided. The three gave him strong and positive recommendations. In addition, the URI athletic director personally called Georgetown's athletic director in July 2018 and received a positive reference check from him. There were absolutely no indications whatsoever of any personnel concerns, violations of admissions policies or any other issues related to coach Ernst.

URI is making the assertion amid accusations that Ernst was accepting bribes, all to help at least a dozen students earn admission as tennis recruits to Georgetown University.

Some of the so-called recruits did not even play tennis.

The university has been silent on what, if any, disciplinary action Reed may face.

Ernst is reportedly on administrative leave with pay at his current job.

On Friday, a Georgetown spokesperson issued the following statement on Ernst:

"It was widely known that Mr. Ernst had been on leave since Dec. 2017 and was not permitted to coach students since that time. Any statement Georgetown made after asking him to resign focused on his athletic record only."

Georgetown University President DeGioia released the following statement on Ernst Friday evening: