The Message Makeover Podcast: Inside the “Varsity Blues” College Admissions Scandal, with ex-Stanford Sailing Coach John Vandemoer

In this episode of The Message Makeover Podcast, we dip into the waters of one of the most widely-publicized scandals in recent US history. We interview John Vandemoer, the former sailing coach at Stanford University who was caught up in the college admissions scandal that ensnared coaches at many schools including Yale, Georgetown and USC, as well as several well-known celebrity parents. John was the among the first people indicted, and he ultimately pled guilty to a federal racketeering charge.

But there is a lot more to this story, and nothing is as it seems. We will also plead “guilty” to the fact that John is a friend, and that we believe his involvement in this story has been widely misunderstood.

In this wide-ranging discussion, John takes us inside what the US criminal justice system is really like, and how the fundraising machine at colleges and universities has become a huge business with big pressure to raise money, creating potential conflicts and “side doors” into schools.

Ultimately, John was caught in between two powerful institutions… The Justice Department and Stanford University. This is the fascinating story of, in our opinion, an honest guy who was trying to do his job and please his employer. John is certainly “guilty” of a few things like not listening carefully and not asking enough questions. But what happened is without question disproportionate to the mistakes he made.

We hope you will give it a listen.

And we also hope you will pick up a copy of John’s new book, Rigged Justice: How the College Admissions Scandal Ruined an Innocent Man’s Life, available on Amazon.

Listen to the episode below, and please subscribe to The Message Makeover Podcast on Soundcloud.

The Message Makeover: Inside the “Varsity Blues” Scandal, with ex-Stanford Sailing Coach John Vandemoer

Does your team:
– Take too long to make decision?
– Fail to ask for what it wants or needs from you?
– Make things too complicated?
– Deliver unconvincing or disorganized presentations?
– Have new hires who are unprepared to communicate in the workplace?

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Dean Brenner

A book about change

The Latimer Group’s CEO Dean Brenner is a noted keynote speaker and author on the subject of persuasive communication. He has written three books, including Persuaded, in which he details how communication can transform organizations into highly effective, creative, transparent environments that succeed at every level.