FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — A North Texas university has fired a baseball coach there for telling a high school player from Colorado that the team doesn’t recruit from the state because players there fail drug tests.
Texas Wesleyan University President Fred Slabach and Athletic Director Steve Trachier made the announcement about baseball coach Mike Jeffcoat during a morning news conference.
President Slabach started a press conference saying, “Mike Jeffcoat is no longer an employee with Texas Wesleyan University. He was separated from the University due to the discriminatory remarks contained in an email to a potential recruit from the state of Colorado and for another factor that we have been investigating for the last week. This additional factor is an NAIA rule violation that has recently came tour attention.”
While President Slabach would not go into detail about what the NAIA rule violation was, he did say it concerned the eligibility of players and in no way centers around a Title IX violation.
In an email exchange last month, Jeffcoat told Colorado recruit Gavin Bell that his program previously decided not to accept players from the state, adding, “You can thank your liberal politicians.”
Colorado voters approved recreational marijuana use in 2012.
“I want to reiterate today that the comments Mike Jeffcoat made are in no way a reflection of our university or it’s values,” Slabach said during the Thursday morning news conference. “We do not tolerate discrimination. We value inclusiveness. We value education, critical thinking and supporting student athletes who are here for the love of the game.”
Athletic Director Steve Trachier reiterated that the university doesn’t tolerate discrimination. “The comments made by Coach Jeffcoat do not reflect our recruiting practices or athletic values,” he said. “We have amazing athletes at Texas Wesleyan and coaches who care about the kids. We recruit kids who love to play and want to get a college degree.”
As for the NAIA violation, Director Trachier said the athletic department has contacted the national office and the conference commissioner to “report the potential violations.”
As for the Colorado high school student who received the email about drug testing from former Coach Jeffcoat, President Slabach said, “I am reaching out to him, hopefully today. If that young man or his family is watching today I want to make sure he knows that the comments contained in that email absolutely do not express the values of this university. And we would love to have Gavin here as a student.”
Jeffcoat pitched 10 years in the majors before becoming head coach at Texas Wesleyan in Fort Worth in 2002.
No interim Texas Wesleyan University baseball coach has been named.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)