Texas Wesleyan, an NAIA school in Texas, said in a statement Wednesday that it is investigating a “personnel matter” involving its baseball coach, former major-league pitcher Mike Jeffcoat, after an email he sent a recruit earlier this month.
Jeffcoat told a Colorado high school prospect that the school had chosen not to recruit from the state because its past players from Colorado “had trouble passing our drug test” — an apparent allusion to the state’s legalization of recreational marijuana.
“We have made a decision to not take a chance on Student-athletes from your state,” Jeffcoat wrote in the email. “You can thank your liberal politicians. Best of luck wherever you decide to play.”
The email, which the school acknowledged in its statement, was addressed to a recruit named “Gavin” and quickly spread on social media.
“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,” Cherokee Trail’s coach, Allan Dyer, told the newspaper. “It just made no sense. The student has not been in trouble one time at our school.”
Texas Wesleyan said in a statement posted to its web site Wednesday that it is aware of the email and “the comments (Jeffcoat) made are in no way a reflection of Texas Wesleyan University, its values or its recruiting practices.”
“This is a personnel matter and it is currently under investigation,” the statement continues. “It is our University policy to not discuss personnel matters, but we want to reiterate that this email does not reflect our values and we do not condone discrimination. This includes discrimination on the basis of race, color, origin, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, disability or sexuality; or the political legislation of one’s home state. We are committed to providing an inclusive campus for all of our students, faculty, staff, visitors, potential students and their families.”
Jeffcoat, who spent parts of 10 seasons in the majors with four different teams, did not immediately reply to a request for comment from USA TODAY Sports.
He has been the head coach of the NAIA program since 2002, amassing more than 500 victories in his college coaching career.