Harvard fencing coach fired over sale of home to prospect's dad

Harvard University fired its fencing coach, Peter Brand, for violating Harvard’s conflict-of-interest policy, athletic director Bob Scalise said Tuesday.

Brand sold his home for double its value to a wealthy businessman whose son was admitted to the school and later joined the fencing team.

In 2016 the coach received nearly $1 million for the suburban Boston house, which was valued at around $550,000, The Boston Globe reported.

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Jie Zhao, who bought the three-bedroom home and sold it at a steep loss, never lived in it. He sold the home 17 months after purchasing it.

The home that once belonged to Peter Brand sits among trees, in Needham, Mass. (Suzanne Kreiter/The Boston Globe via AP, File)

The home that once belonged to Peter Brand sits among trees, in Needham, Mass. (Suzanne Kreiter/The Boston Globe via AP, File)

Both Jie and Brand have denied any wrongdoing.

Douglas Brooks, Brand’s lawyer, called his client’s termination “unwarranted, and an egregious disservice to a loyal employee.” Brooks said Brand is considering legal options.

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Brand was the coach of the Harvard fencing team for 14 seasons, recording 306 wins. Since 2005, the team produced nine individual NCAA Champions and won the overall national championship in 2006.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.