Hearing held for volleyball coach charged in college scheme

An initial court appearance has been held for the Wake Forest University women's volleyball coach accused in a scheme to help get wealthy children into elite schools.

A brief docket entry says William Ferguson was advised of his rights during the hearing Tuesday in Greensboro. He's been charged with racketeering conspiracy.

“I guess it surprises me the lengths people will go,” said Dan Jenkins. 

Ferguson's case is part of the largest college admissions scame the Deptarment of Justice says they have ever prosecuted. Federal court documents allege that the leader of a for-profit college counseling business directed one hundred thousand dollars to be paid to Ferguson, forty thousand dollars to be paid to the women's volleyball program and fifty thousand dollars that went to a camp controlled by Ferguson. In exchange, prosecutors say Ferguson agreed to designate a daughter of one of that business's clients as a volleyball recruit to help her get into the university.

“I went to an Ivy League school myself so im not surprised," said Vinay Jain. "I've seen the children of the richest people of the world go to the top schools in this country.” 

“It’s unfair for those we maybe are not getting admitted,” said James Durante. 

The university has placed Ferguson on administrative leave. They have also named a interim coach for the women's volleyball team. 

“It’s been happening for years and it’s just now coming to the light,” said Paulette Brooks.  “It will continue. They will be more careful, it won’t be as traceable, but it’s not going to stop.” 

A lawyer for Ferguson, Kearns Davis, didn't immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.