Former CFLer David Sidoo to plead guilty in U.S. college admission scandal

Former CFL defensive back David Sidoo plans to have his final day in United States court.

“Mr. Sidoo will appear in Federal Court in Boston on Friday, at which time he will seek a conclusion to this matter through a plea to 1 of 2 charges,” his lawyers said in a statement.

The judge warned both sides about issuing media statements because other defendants in the case are proceeding to a jury trial.

“Therefore neither Mr. Sidoo nor his legal counsel will be making any further statement. His desire is to seek finality to this process.”

Sidoo has been charged in the same college admission scandal that has ensnared celebrities Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin. Last March, Sidoo’s lawyers issued a statement claiming their client’s innocence.

“The charge that has been lodged against David is an allegation that carries with it the presumption that he is innocent. We look forward to representing our case in court, and ask that people don’t rush to judgment in the meantime.”

The Vancouver-based Sidoo was one of 50 people charged in a case that sparked outrage south of border. He is accused of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud in Massachusetts.

Sidoo, the CFL’s first Indo-Canadian player, suited up for six seasons between 1983 and 1988, including five in Saskatchewan and had seven interceptions for the Riders in 1987. He played his university ball at the University of British Columbia, where he won a Vanier Cup in 1980.

He has been heavily involved in the recent resurgence of the program. The Thunderbirds football field on UBC’s campus is named after him. Sidoo has received the Order of B.C. and is a member of the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame.

An indictment alleges Sidoo paid $100,000 in 2011 to have an individual secretly take the SAT test in place of his older son, then used the score in an application at Chapman University, a private California school, where Sidoo’s son was admitted.

The indictment also alleges Sidoo agreed to pay another $100,000 in 2012 for someone to take the SAT in place of his younger son. The scores were sent to universities as part of his college applications, including the University of California-Berkeley, where he was accepted.

At least nine athletic coaches and 33 parents including Hollywood actresses Huffman and Loughlin are among those charged in the investigation, dubbed Operation Varsity Blues.

After his retirement from the CFL, Sidoo started a career as a businessman and investor and is reportedly worth several hundred million dollars.

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