British Columbia

UBC to consider renaming David Sidoo Field amid court case on college admissions scandal

The University of British Columbia is beginning the process of deciding whether to rename David Sidoo Thunderbird Field while the Vancouver businessman prepares to plead guilty for his involvement in a college admission cheating scheme. 

Vancouver businessman expected to plead guilty for paying someone to write his sons' entrance exams

David Sidoo leaves federal court in Boston, Mass., in 2019 after pleading not guilty to charges as part of a wide-ranging college admissions bribery scandal. He is expected to plead guilty on Friday to a mail and wire fraud conspiracy charge. (Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via The Associated Press)

The University of British Columbia is considering renaming David Sidoo Field at Thunderbird Stadium as the Vancouver businessman prepares to plead guilty for his involvement in a college admission cheating scheme. 

The former CFL player is scheduled to plead guilty Friday in federal court in Boston to a mail and wire fraud conspiracy charge for paying $200,000 US to have someone take a college entrance exam in place of his two sons.

He was scheduled to go on trial in January, but prosecutors have agreed to recommend a sentence of 90 days in prison and a fine of $250,000, according to court documents.

Sidoo was among 15 wealthy parents fighting their charges in the college admissions scandal.

Nearly two dozen other parents, including Desperate Housewives star Felicity Huffman, have already pleaded guilty.

In an email, UBC spokesman Kurt Heinrich said the university is aware Sidoo plans to plead guilty.

He confirmed the university is beginning the process of  deciding whether to remove his name from signage at the Thunderbird Stadium field. 

Heinrich did not say when the name would be formally revoked if a committee recommends it, or what the process would be to rename the field.

"In the coming days we will be reviewing all the facts," he said in an email.

"We believe it is crucial for the university to follow due process."

Sidoo was an MVP defensive back at UBC. He helped lead the team to win the university's first ever Vanier Cup national championship in 1982, after an undefeated season. 

He played professional football for six years for the Saskatchewan Roughriders and B.C. Lions.

He was CEO of mining firm Advantage Lithium Corp. when he was arrested last year and was also a founding shareholder of an oil and gas company that was sold in 2010 for more than $600 million.

With files from The Associated Press

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