A Texas Wesleyan baseball coach has been fired for saying he did not want to consider any recruits from Colorado because of the Centennial State’s liberal pot laws, a report says.
Former Cleveland Indians pitcher Mike Jeffcoat, told a potential recruit from Colorado that he could “thank your liberal politicians” for his decision to exclude Colorado students from consideration. Jeffcoat reasoned that the state’s ubiquitous use of marijuana would cause most recruits to fail drug testing, Sporting News reported.
The coach revealed his opinion on Colorado’s marijuana laws in an email to Gavin Bell, a baseball player at Cherokee Trail High School in Aurora, Colorado.
Jeffcoat told the young player, “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.”
The email was sent from Jeffcoat’s official university email account.
The teenager complained about the email to Denver’s NBC affiliate. “I just felt bad for myself,” Bell said, “because I felt like it was my fault that this all happened and I couldn’t do anything about it because I didn’t really know anything about it in the first place. I’m a good student-athlete. I’m just sad that he couldn’t take a chance on me, because of what is going on in the state of Colorado. Not even having a background check on me.”
But once the news broke, Wesleyan officials disavowed Jeffcoat’s email and said that his idea of excluding Colorado recruits violates the school’s “anti-discrimination policy, along with race, color, origin, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, disability (and) sexuality.”
In a statement, the university said that Jeffcoat’s email “does not reflect our values and we do not condone discrimination.”
“Texas Wesleyan has a long tradition of excellence in athletics, and we are committed to recruiting student-athletes who will excel at our university,” the statement concluded. “Like the NAIA’s core values, we are focused on building and recruiting champions of character.”
Wesleyan added that Jeffcoat was not only fired for the email, but also over possible player eligibility violations. The school also noted that it already has other students from Colorado on its teams.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.