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The fallout from the firing in December, 2019 of University of Guelph coach Dave Scott-Thomas (DST) continues to cascade.
It is alleged that he had at least one inappropriate relationship with an underage athlete under his tutelage. He is also accused and not charged with taking part in acquiring meets and club funding inappropriately. He is accused, but not charged with bullying and harassment.
Athletics Canada cut off funding that the organization provided to DST’s privately owned Speed River Track and Field Club.
Steve Boyd, outspoken former coach at Queen’s University was also fired for speaking out on chat forums (Trackie.ca) and on social media, primarily Facebook, in favour of the DST firing and suggesting that the University of Guelph titles that were attained during DST’s tenure be rescinded.
There is conflicting media reports that he was warned to stop speaking out on social media and chat forums and whether or not he stopped in time. The firing appears to be a rushed decision by Queen’s.
Boyd was asked to be removed from the OUA championships that took place at York University on Friday. A video by athlete and coach Leslie Sexton, with Boyd’s Physi-Kult Kingston running club showed security asking Boyd to leave, followed by letting him know that the police would be called.
Apparently, the Athletic Director at York made the call for security to remove Boyd.
It was the Athletic Director at Queen’s who had fired him.
Security just showed up, threatening to call the police. pic.twitter.com/L4v8BCGMns
— Leslie Sexton (@LeslieSexton) February 21, 2020
Twitter and other social media lit up with protestations about the treatment of Boyd, who was apparently simply spectating at the event.
A Change.org petition was started on behalf of Boyd to reinstate him as coach at Queen’s University. Currently over 2400 signatures have been collected of the goal number of 2500.
The petition states:
“We, the athletes of the Queen’s Cross Country and Track & Field teams, are writing in response to the termination of Steve Boyd in his role as Head Coach. Any evidence against Steve Boyd does not justify his firing and we are calling for his reinstatement.
The Queen’s University policy on free expression states that “open inquiry and the freedom to speak, write, listen, and learn are foundational principles on which Queen’s University is built,” and the “failure to explore or confront ideas with which we disagree through disciplined and respectful dialogue, debate, and argument, does society a disservice, weakens our intellectual integrity and threatens the very core of the University.” Steve’s actions wholly reflect these foundational principles of the university through his unrelenting pursuit of truth and justice, and the university’s decision to terminate his contract is incongruous with its own core values. In addition, when requested by Queen’s Athletics & Recreation to cease the discussion he was undertaking, Steve complied.
We believe this decision made by the university was rushed and lacked consultation…”