A baseball recruit was told via email that Texas Wesleyan University didn't want him because his coming from Colorado, where marijuana use is legal, poses too great a risk.
The player attended Cherokee Trail High School in Aurora, Colo., and never had any issues with drugs, according to his former coach there.
The email, sent Feb. 20 by veteran Texas Wesleyan Coach and MLB alum Mike Jeffcoat, has since gone viral on social media. It states, "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."
Texas Wesleyan vice president John Veilleux told Chron.com, the online presence of the Houston Chronicle, that the university was "definitely aware" of the email's existence. The private university then released an official statement Wednesday:
We are aware of the email sent by our baseball coach, and the comments he 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. 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.
Texas Wesleyan has a long tradition of excellence in athletics and we are committed to recruiting student-athletes who will excel at our university. Like the NAIA’s core values, we are focused on building and recruiting champions of character.
Jeffcoat pitched 10 seasons in the Major Leagues, including six with the Texas Rangers. Since taking over the Wesleyan program in 2002, he has compiled a 529-358-1 record.
Allan Dyer, the prospect's former high school coach, said he had the email forwarded to him and expressed surprise at its tone. "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," Dyer told Chron.com. "It just made no sense. The student has not been in trouble one time at our school."