Fired Texas Wesleyan coach says controversial pot email was free speech

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Texas Wesleyan University’s former baseball coach defended the politically charged email he sent to a potential recruit that led to his firing.

In the email to player from Colorado, Mike Jeffcoat said he was rejecting the player because of the marijuana laws in the player's home state.

“In the past, players have had trouble passing our drug test,” he wrote to the student. “We have made a decision to not take a chance on student-athletes from your state. You can thank your liberal politicians.”

In an exclusive interview with FOX 4’s Mike Doocy, Jeffcoat said he did not deserve to be fired because of the email. His lawyers say they’re considering all options, including litigation against the university.

Jeffcoat feels that his language used in the email was free speech and should be protected under the First Amendment. He believes the email was political commentary rather than discrimination.

“While there may be people out there that don’t agree with what I had to say, I was just using my First Amendment rights and giving an opinion about a situation,” he said.

Texas Wesleyan officials called the email discriminatory. They said Jeffcoat was fired in part because of the email and in part because of unspecified NAIA violations.

Jeffcoat admitted that the tone of the e-mail was harsher than it should have been and says he should’ve worded it differently.

“I just kind of responded the way I did out of frustration from losing players in the past to drug tests,” he said.

Jeffcoat spent 10 years in the big leagues, including six years with the Texas Rangers. He was a coach at Texas Wesleyan since 2002. His team this year was ranked in the NAIA top ten.