With 11 days left until the Rams football team plays the first game of the 2018 season, offensive coordinator Kyle Cox has been suspended.
President Frederick Slabach announced Cox’s suspension in an email to faculty and staff Wednesday evening. Slabach wrote that tweets Cox wrote between 2012 and 2014 “contain questionable content that does not reflect the university’s values.”
Slabach wrote that the suspension was “pending an investigation into the matter.” He did not say how long the suspension would be. This followed the tweet from Texas Wesleyan earlier Wednesday afternoon.
Texas Wesleyan values an inclusive community and takes all accusations seriously. Football coach Kyle Cox was suspended this morning, pending the completion of an investigation into recent allegations.
— Texas Wesleyan (@TexasWesleyan) August 22, 2018
On Sunday, Cox tweeted that he unfollowed three football recruits due to their Twitter page content not being up to his standard.
Two days later, @CRWNDKING_Brand took a screenshot of the tweet and started digging into Cox’s personal Twitter account. He found several tweets written by Cox from 2012 to 2014, which several people on Twitter wrote were racist and homophobic.
@CoachCoxTXWES You’re judging players character off of social media…ok cool got it but…you’re a closet racist, a closet homophobe…so we can safely assume that whatever they tweeted stood opposite of the opinions that you yourself hold… pic.twitter.com/Wl2712iZnf
— Skip Through That Lane (@CRWNDKING_Brand) August 21, 2018
Cox has deleted his Twitter account in the past two days.
This was not the first time a Texas Wesleyan coach has been investigated for accusations of discrimination. Last March, head baseball coach Mike Jeffcoat was fired “due to the discriminatory remarks made to a potential player from the state of Colorado and for another factor that we have been investigating for the last week,” Slabach said during a press conference.
In response to the current situation, Vice President for Enrollment, Marketing and Communications John Veilleux also provided a statement.
“Yesterday, some tweets made by Football Offensive Coordinator Kyle Cox were brought to our attention,” Veilleux wrote Thursday afternoon. “These tweets were posted between 2012 and 2014, prior to his employment at Texas Wesleyan. They contain questionable content that does not reflect the university’s values. Cox was immediately suspended pending an investigation into the matter.
“Texas Wesleyan values diversity and inclusion, and we continue to work to foster these values within our community. All of our decisions are made with our student-athletes in mind, and this is no different.”
Senior Director of Communications Ann Davis said Thursday afternoon that neither Athletic Director Ricky Dotson nor head football coach Joe Prud’homme would have a comment on the suspension due to the ongoing investigation.
This was Cox’s second year at Texas Wesleyan and first year serving as the offensive coordinator, according to ramsports.net. Previously Cox served was the wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator. He came to Wesleyan after being a graduate assistant coach for four years at Texas Christian University.
Running back Da’Vonte Mitchell-Dixon said he believes Wesleyan handled the situation well.
“When it comes to that, I feel like suspending him was a good thing to do just because you have to investigate and see what is true and what is fiction with the story,” Mitchell-Dixon said. “When it comes down to it, I know he is an amazing person at heart. I know that the stuff that was tweeted was not him and it is not his character.”
Mitchell-Dixon hopes to see Cox return as a coach.
“Based on everything I know about him as a person, I can only pray he keeps his job and that we all learn from this and the stuff that we put on social media is going to be shown in the future somehow someway,” he said.
Mitchell-Dixon believes Cox to still be a good mentor.
“I think coach Cox is a great person,” he said. “He is a good guy and everybody makes mistakes. He is an amazing person to me and he will always be a mentor.”
The Rams open their season Sept. 1 at 7 p.m. against Kansas Wesleyan at Farrington Field.