Florida A&M University basketball coach Mike Gillespie was placed on paid leave after being arrested.
Mr. Gillespie was charged with misdemeanor stalking.
Normally, we don't know that we'd be opposed to a gentleman taking the necessary steps to ensure that a female counterpart was living a clean and wholesome life. If it meant tactically surveilling her, well, then that might be what was necessary.
However, the circumstances of both this event and the University dictate that Gillespie must be fired.
Gillespie is married and the woman he is accused of surveilling is not his wife. So, we can't defend his action in this case. And, since his actions are indefensible, we can only concur with law enforcements decision to levy charges against him.
As such, we believe that it is now imperative for the University to rid their campus of this individual.
Mr. Gillespie is the the head basketball coach at an historically Negro university. He is in a position of authority and guidance over a dozen or so impressionable young Negro athletes. It it paramount that the University take this opportunity to impress upon these young men that flagrant and indefensible violation of the law can not be tolerated.
These young men read daily reports of other young Negro athletes being charged or accused of crimes. They see these athletes cut by teams or suspended by leagues. Even before the case is dispositioned.
Now, the criminal activity has hit home. In order for the University to instill the proper value and understanding of adherence to the law, there is no recourse but to escort Mr. Gillespie off campus. To allow him to remain while his charges are investigated or to remain until a legal decision is made sets the wrong example.
Professional sports leagues are no longer waiting. And, as we can see through the proactive stance the NFL is taking in sending its very own investigators to "help" the VA investigators in the Vick case, pro sports are redefining the legal system.
Therefore, we urge FAMU to get in step with this new judicial movement. We urge FAMU to expeditiously clear Mr. Gillespie's office and render him unemployed.
It is time for us all to institute the new legal litmus test:
What would Roger Goodell do?
We would also hope that FAMU realize that while they were progressive in their action of hiring a white coach, that clearly it might not be in the best interest of the Negro students to be exposed to white men that fall victim to their most primal urges.
Yes, Gillespie led FAMU to the NCAA's and some on court success. However, it is time to think about the University's reputation. A white coach at an HBCU brings the spotlight. A white coach salaciously and illegally invading the privacy of women in the community brings negative press.
The University has expectations of conduct for its employees. And, while what Mr. Gillespie did might not be a big deal in white culture, it is intolerable to break such laws and represent an HBCU.