Save this content for laterSave this content on your device for later, even while offline Sign in with FacebookSign in with your Facebook account Close

Texas college fires baseball coach who just said no to Colorado recruit over state’s marijuana laws

By: Matt Bonesteel, The Washington Post
March 1, 2018 Updated: March 1, 2018 at 2:02 pm
0
Caption +
Image courtesy CBS Denver.

Gavin Bell, a left fielder at Cherokee Trail High School in Aurora, Colo., was looking for a place to play in college and stumbled upon Texas Wesleyan, an NAIA school in Fort Worth. Apparently thinking it could be a good fit, his father sent an inquiry to Rams baseball Coach Mike Jeffcoat about possibly playing for the Rams.

But Jeffcoat did not think Bell would be a good fit because he hails from Colorado, where recreational marijuana has been legal since 2014. Jeffcoat told Bell this in an email that quickly went viral.

Jeffcoat’s response apparently was not appreciated by Texas Wesleyan officials. On Thursday, the school fired him after 16 years at the school.

“Mike Jeffcoat is no longer an employee with Texas Wesleyan University,” school president Fred Slabach said at a news conference. “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 to our attention.”

Slabach would not divulge any details about the other “factor,” saying only it concerned the eligibility of players and was not a Title IX violation.

Putting aside the fact that marijuana is legal in Colorado because its voters wanted it to be — the 2012 ballot initiative that cleared the way for it passed with 55 percent of the vote — and not because of its “liberal politicians,” the logical leap Jeffcoat took in his email to Bell seemed to defy explanation.

“I’ve never seen a coach send an email like that to a kid. I was kind of shocked a coach would connect a political issue to a kid,” Allan Dyer, Bell’s former high school coach, told the Houston Chronicle on Wednesday. “It just made no sense. The student has not been in trouble one time at our school.”

Plus, the Rams have one player from Colorado on their roster: freshman outfielder Logan Bistrup. Another, catcher Aidan Laurini from Centennial, Colo., was listed on Texas Wesleyan’s 2017 roster as a junior, though he’s not on this year’s roster and has not compiled any statistics through 13 games. His Twitter bio still starts with “Texas Wesleyan baseball,” however, and in October he was mentioned as a senior in a story about an intrasquad scrimmage on the team’s official website.

Jeffcoat, who spent 10 MLB seasons as a left-handed relief pitcher for four teams, had been Texas Wesleyan’s coach since 2002.

Bell told the Chronicle he simply was looking to get closer to his family’s roots.

“All I know is he got back to me on the 20th and I am a Texas native and we were just looking at the schools in the area I had used to live in,” he told the Chronicle, adding that he hoped Jeffcoat didn’t lose his job over the incident.

Read this story at The Washington Post.

Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Incognito Mode Your browser is in Incognito mode

You vanished!

We welcome you to read all of our stories by signing into your account. If you don't have a subscription, please subscribe today for daily award winning journalism.

Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

It appears that you value local journalism. Thank you.

Subscribe today for unlimited digital access with 50% fewer ads for a faster browsing experience.

Already a Subscriber? LOGIN HERE

Wake up with today's top stories in your inbox

Wake up with today's top stories in your inbox

or
Already a print subscriber?
Already a digital subscriber?
 
This is your last FREE article for the month
This is your last FREE article for the month

Subscribe now and enjoy Unlimited Digital Access to Gazette.com

Only 99 cents for Unlimited Digital Access for 1 month
Then $2.31/week, billed monthly, cancel anytime
Already a print subscriber?
Already a digital subscriber?

 
You have reached your article limit for the month
You have reached your article limit for the month

We hope that you've enjoyed your complimentary access to Gazette.com

Only 99 cents for Unlimited Digital Access for 1 month
Then $2.31/week, billed monthly, cancel anytime
Already a print subscriber?
Already a digital subscriber?
 

Exclusive Subscriber Content

You read The Gazette because you care about your community and the local stories you can't find anywhere else.

Only 99 cents for Unlimited Digital Access for 1 month
Then $2.31/week, billed monthly, cancel anytime
Already a print subscriber? Get Access | Already a digital subscriber? Log In
 
articles remaining
×
Thank you for your interest in local journalism.
Gain unlimited access, 50% fewer ads and a faster browsing experience.