AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The coaches charged in the sprawling college-admissions bribery scandal were far from the tops of the sports world.

They coached lower-tier sports like tennis, volleyball, sailing and crew. They made millions less than basketball or football coaches. And some were not very successful.

And yet, they all had something of great value to wealthy parents — they held the keys to get into some of the most exclusive colleges in America.

That's because coaches are allotted a certain number of slots for special admission for athletes who might not meet the usual academic standards. And generally, when coaches make their pitch for certain students to the admissions office, they get their way.

The scandal erupted this week when dozens of rich parents were charged with bribing coaches and others to get their children into schools like Yale, Stanford, Georgetown and UCLA.

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