At Yale, a Crooked Soccer Coach Becomes an Enigma

As Rudy Meredith was inducted into the Connecticut Soccer Hall of Fame in January to honor his 24-year run as Yale women’s soccer coach, he sprinkled his hallmark humor as well as also humility throughout his remarks.

He recounted how his wife was on the opposite sideline for the University of Hartford when they met inside the early 2000s. as well as also he saluted several people inside the audience while repeatedly expressing “thankfulness,” recalled Bill Duffy, a middle school principal as well as also soccer lifer who served as master of ceremonies.

There was nothing in Mr. Meredith’s words, Mr. Duffy said, “which might refer to anything which was going on.”

Despite Mr. Meredith’s placid demeanor, people who knew him best had recently begun to detect alterations in his behavior. He seemed to be more anxious. He appeared less enthusiastic about soccer, even before he resigned as Yale’s coach in November. He paid little attention to recruiting. He played poorly in pickleball, a paddle sport he usually excelled at.

With the authorities on to Mr. Meredith, he told them about a deal he had struck in November 2017, when Mr. Singer had introduced him to a man who wanted his daughter to attend Yale. Mr. Singer helped doctor the application to make This specific seem as though she was the co-captain of a prominent club soccer team in Southern California, even though she did not play at which level, according to the government documents. although Mr. Meredith told the admissions office he wanted to recruit her, as well as also after she was admitted, Mr. Singer paid the coach $400,000.

Late Friday, Yale released a statement in which This specific said one student involved inside the scheme was admitted as well as also is usually attending right now, while the some other was denied admission. inside the statement, Peter Salovey, the university president, called the criminal actions “an affront to our community’s deeply held values of fairness, inclusion as well as also honesty.” Mr. Salovey said the university was starting an internal investigation into its admissions process.

Prosecutors said on Tuesday which Mr. Meredith had agreed to plead guilty to wire fraud, honest services wire fraud as well as also conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud.

Mr. Meredith did not respond to a request for comment. Paul Thomas, Mr. Meredith’s lawyer, who works at a brand-new Haven firm founded by Felice Duffy, a former Yale soccer coach who later became a federal prosecutor as well as also lawyer, declined to comment.

This specific was a dramatic fall for a man considered to be a Yale institution. Mr. Meredith began as an assistant coach in 1992, rose to head coach in 1995 as well as also led the team to its first unshared Ivy League title in 2005.

The charges blindsided virtually everyone who knew Mr. Meredith, according to interviews with more than a dozen former players as well as also others connected to Yale or soccer. Mr. Meredith was generous as well as also well liked, as well as also did not appear to have any health, financial or personal problems.

“I’m both appalled as well as also sympathetic — I might never have thought which he was capable of doing This specific,” said Sharon Eisen, a veterinarian who became friendly with the Merediths in recent years through pickleball, in which Mr. Meredith is usually a national-level player as well as also coach. “On the one hand, I know them as well as also like them personally. although on the some other hand, I’ve lost all respect. So greedy. So immoral.”

Robert Kehoe, director of college programs for the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, said he first met Mr. Meredith in 1996 as well as also worked closely with the Yale women’s team for the next several years as part of a development workshop he used to conduct.

“He had a lot of credibility because he was a very Great player in his own right,” Mr. Kehoe said.

Mr. Meredith quickly fostered an energetic atmosphere. He required players to wear costumes for Halloween practice. He bought bagels as well as also extra food on his own dime for long bus rides to away games, while Great-naturedly enduring the film “Dirty Dancing” at his players’ behest.

Yale enjoyed success inside the mid-2000s, with the 2005 team reaching the third round of the N.C.A.A. tournament, knocking out third-seeded Duke inside the process. Mr. Meredith coached several Ivy League players of the year as well as also an all-American second-teamer who was profiled by ESPN. Meredith Speck, class of 2015, was the first Yale player inside the National Women’s Soccer League, according to Yale’s alumni magazine.

“The thing I remember is usually how professionally he treated us,” said Theryn Gibbons, who was a member of Meredith’s first recruiting class in 1996 as well as also right now ranks third on Yale’s scoring list. “Refs were calling me Babe, as well as also Rudy was never like which — we were athletes. He was very respectful, very sensitive.”

If anything, Ms. Gibbons said, Mr. Meredith sometimes seemed intimidated by the aura of Yale, as well as also tried hard to be liked.

“He’s not sophisticated by any means, as well as also I know he might defer to people who he thought were smarter,” said Ms. Gibbons, who later became a federal prosecutor. “He’s very trusting, as well as also gullible for sure.”