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Texas college fires coach for rejecting recruit from weed-legal Colorado

"We have made a decision to not take a chance on student-athletes from your state."

by Chelsey B. Coombs
Mar 1 2018, 6:15pm

Texas Wesleyan University’s baseball coach was just fired for saying he wouldn’t recruit players from weed-legal Colorado.

Coach Mike Jeffcoat, who formerly pitched in the Major Leagues, sent an email from his TWU account to Colorado recruit Gavin Bell, telling him he could “thank [his state’s] liberal politicians” for his rejection because players from Colorado “have had trouble passing our drug test.”

A Denver radio host’s tweet with a screenshot of the email went viral.

"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."

TWU President Fred G. Slabach called the email inappropriate at a news conference this morning.

"The comments he made are in no way a reflection of our university or its values,” Slabach said. “We do not tolerate discrimination. We value inclusiveness."

Slabach also said Jeffcoat was fired due to a violation of National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) rules that the university had been investigating for the past week, although he would not comment on the details of the violation because the investigation was ongoing.

"I just felt bad for myself 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," Cherokee Trail High School senior Bell said in an interview with CBS Denver. "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."

Colorado legalized recreational marijuana in 2014, and has grown to be a billion-dollar business in the state. The first $40 million in tax revenue brought in from sales goes to building and renovating public schools, and the rest goes to substance abuse programs, police officer recruitment, public housing and more.