Yale Coach Resigns Amid Rhodes Scholarship Investigation

The coach made statements about having to decide between 49ers and scholarship.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBC Connecticut
    Yale's head football coach Tom Williams has tried to clarify statement he made about being a candidate for a Rhodes scholarship 20 years ago.

    The Yale football coach who was investigated for allegations of lying on his resume about being a candidate for a Rhodes Scholarship while a student at Stanford has resigned.

    Tom Williams’ resignation will take effect on Dec. 31, the school said on Wednesday.

    The issue came to light this fall as Yale quarterback Patrick Witt was forced to make a decision between playing in the esteemed Yale vs. Harvard football game or traveling to Atlanta for a Rhodes Scholarship interview.

    Witt ultimately decided to play in "The Game," forgoing a chance at being a Rhodes scholar this year.

    While this was going on, Williams made statements that he once had to make a similar decision, choosing to attend a mini-camp for the San Francisco 49ers instead of going to an interview as a Rhodes candidate.

    The New York Times then reported that officials from the Rhodes Trust said they had no record of Williams applying for the scholarship when he graduated from Stanford in 1992.

    “I wish to clear the record,” Williams said in offering his resignation. “On the Rhodes Scholarship issue, I was encouraged to apply by the Stanford Fellowship office, which identified me ‘as the kind of student who demonstrates the intellect, energy and commitment that the Rhodes selection committees seek in their applicants.’ I considered the opportunity, sought advice and was encouraged to apply by faculty members and my coach Bill Walsh, but I did not apply.”

    Williams was 16-14 at Yale, but 0-3 against Harvard.

    “I am extremely proud of my academic, athletic and coaching career.  If there was confusion created, I take full responsibility," Williams said in a statement. "The timing of this inquiry has been difficult for everyone. At this point I believe it is in the best interest of my student-athletes and Yale University that I step down.”

    Athletic director Tom Beckett said the search for a new coach would begin immediately.