The baseball coach at Texas Wesleyan University has been fired after an email he sent to a potential recruit from Aurora went viral.
Gavin Bell, a senior at Cherokee Trail High School in Aurora, Colorado, never meant for the email he received from baseball coach Mike Jeffcoat to get the national attention it’s received.
But nevertheless, the February 20 communication, which informed Bell he would not be considered for the Texas Wesleyan University team because of the legality of marijuana in Colorado, was just outrageous enough to make headlines — and then get Jeffcoat fired.
The email reads:
Thanks for the interest in our program. Unfortunately, we are not recruiting players from the state of Colorado. In the past, players have had trouble passing our drug test. We have made a decision to not take a chance on Student-athletes from your state. You can thank your liberal politicians. Best of Luck wherever you decide to play.
Head Baseball Coach
Texas Wesleyan University
Upon receiving the email, Bell, 18, forwarded it to a teacher and his coaches.
“My intention really wasn’t to do anything to hurt anybody or get anybody fired, it was just me talking to my coaches and my loved ones about what do I do with this,” Bell told KCNC, adding that it isn’t right to punish him for legislation that passed years before he was even able to vote.
“That’s not what I’m about,” he said. “I’m about playing baseball and getting grades in school.”
Texas Wesleyan University responded with a statement and a news conference on Thursday, March 1, stating,
“We are aware of the email sent by our baseball coach, and the comments he made are in no way a reflection of Texas Wesleyan University, its values or its recruiting practices.”
The university also stated that it will not tolerate any discrimination, including for the “political legislation of one’s home state.” Read the full statement here.
They have since fired Jeffcoat for the comments made in the email, as well as for NAIA violations.
Recreational marijuana use was approved by Colorado voters in 2012, and sales have occurred since Jan. 1, 2014.
What do you think? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below! And we certainly wish Bell all the best as he searches for the right college!