Harvard University announced Tuesday it would be firing its fencing coach after he sold his home to a prospective student’s family for a price far above its estimated value. According to The Boston Globe, Peter Brand’s dismissal came after the university asked a third party to review the home sale earlier this year. Brand and his wife sold their home in May 2016 to a man whose son was interested in joining Harvard’s fencing team. The man, Jie “Jack” Zhao, reportedly paid over $400,000 more for the home than what it was valued at. Zhao then sold it 17 months later, incurring a $324,500 loss, after his son was granted admission to the Ivy League school and its fencing team.
“An independent investigation of the matter is now complete, and Mr. Brand has been dismissed from his position for violating Harvard’s conflict-of-interest policy,” Bob Scalise, Harvard’s athletic director, said in a statement. Harvard spokeswoman Rachael Dane also said Brand “violated a clear and expressly stated policy” in the exchange. Zhao previously denied that the home sale had anything to do with his son’s admission, telling the newspaper he did it to help Brand cut down on his commuting time.