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Fort Worth, Texas – A college baseball coach in Texas shot down the hopes of a high school recruit from Colorado over past issues with athletes from the state passing drug tests.
Gavin Bell, a senior a Cherokee Trail High School in Aurora, Colorado, expressed interest in playing baseball at Texas Wesleyan University in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, but was rejected in an email by head coach Mike Jeffcoat, a former Major League Baseball player.
"Thanks for the interest in our program. Unfortunately, we are not recruiting players from the state of Colorado," Jeffcoat wrote, according to Denver7. "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 is an apparent reference to the fact that recreational marijuana use is legal in Colorado, Denver7 said.
"I’m just a high school student looking to play baseball somewhere," Bell said, according to Denver7. "I’m a good student athlete. I am just sad he couldn’t take a chance on me."
Bell tried to brush off the email and didn’t want to be at the center of any controversy, but his former coach, Allan Dyer, went public with the comments after he complained to Texas Wesleyan and didn’t receive a response.
Dyer said he has never seen an email like the one from Jeffcoat in 30 years of coaching. He called it shocking and unacceptable.
He also said the email was ironic, given that Bell "is a great kid" and never caused any problems. Dyer called Bell a leader on the team and in the school, according to Denver7.
John Veilleux, a spokesman for Texas Wesleyan, confirmed the existence of the email and said the university is investigating, according to the Houston Chronicle.
"We’re definitely aware of the email sent out 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," Veilleux said, according to the Chronicle.
Jeffcoat pitched 10 seasons in the Major Leagues with several teams. He retired after the 1994 season, according to the Chronicle.
Jeffcoat did not respond to a request for comment from the Chronicle.
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