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UT Austin Fires Michael Center After Indictment In College Admission Scheme

Miguel Gutierrez
Texas Tribune
Center outside of the federal courthouse in downtown Austin on March 12. Center is accused of accepting nearly $100,000 in a wide-ranging federal investigation.

A day after his indictment in a wide-ranging college admissions scandal, longtime UT Austin tennis coach Michael Center has been fired.

Center, who faces two felony charges for allegedly receiving nearly $100,000 to recruit a student with falsified athletic credentials, was placed on administrative leave yesterday.

In a statement announcing the decision, UT Austin President Greg Fenves said the school will launch an internal investigation into Center's alleged 2015 fraud, but emphasized, as the university did yesterday, that the accusations around Center were isolated.

"We take the criminal allegations against Michael Center very seriously and, as of today, he has been terminated as a UT employee," Fenves said in a statement.

Center had coached the Longhorns' men's tennis team for 18 seasons, securing as many appearances in the NCAA Championship during his tenure. UT said Associate Head Coach Bruce Berque would serve as interim head coach.

FBI agents arrested Center at his home yesterday morning. He was charged with one count of mail fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and released on personal recognizance. 

Center is due in federal court in Boston later this month. 

Andrew Weber is a general assignment reporter for KUT, focusing on criminal justice, policing, courts and homelessness in Austin and Travis County. Got a tip? You can email him at Follow him on Twitter @England_Weber.
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