This Texas baseball coach wanted no part of a Colorado contact high — and now he’s out of a job.
Mike Jeffcoat, the coach at Texas Wesleyan University and a former major-league pitcher, has been fired after saying in an email to a Colorado high school prospect that the university no longer recruits players from the state due to failed drug tests.
“Thanks for the interest in our program,” Jeffcoat wrote to Cherokee Trail High School senior Gavin Bell on Feb. 20. “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.”
After an investigation by the university in which it confirmed the veracity of the email, Jeffcoat was dismissed of his duties Thursday, according to multiple reports.
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On Wednesday, John Veilleux, the university’s VP of marketing and communications, told The Houston Chronicle that the school does not tolerate Jeffcoat’s recruiting rule.
“We’re definitely aware of the email sent out 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,” Veilleux said.
The university had also released a statement online saying it does not condone discrimination “on the basis of race, color, origin, ethnicity, gender age, religion, disability or sexuality; or the political legislation of one’s home state.”
Jeffcoat’s reference to Colorado’s legal marijuana laws sent Bell into a daze.
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“I didn’t know what to think to be honest at all,” he told Denver’s CBS4.
The 18-year-old outfielder said he sent Jeffcoat’s response to a high school teacher, which led to it going viral on Twitter. He said he didn’t want the coach to lose his job.
“I’m not trying to get anybody in trouble here,” Bell said before Thursday’s firing, per KDVR. “My intention wasn’t trying to get this guy fired. My intention was just to try to play baseball.”
Jeffcoat, 58, began coaching the Fort Worth private school’s team in 2002 and is the program’s all-time leader in wins with a 529-358-1 record. He pitched 10 seasons in the majors, including six with the Texas Rangers, before retiring after the 1994 season.
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