Kitchener-Waterloo

Former U of G track coach removed from Guelph Sports Hall of Fame

Former University of Guelph track and field coach Dave Scott-Thomas has been removed from the Guelph Sports Hall of Fame, according to a statement issued Wednesday by the hall's board of directors.

Decision marks first time inductee removed from hall, spokesperson says

Former national track coach Dave Scott-Thomas has been given a lifetime ban by Athletics Canada. (Submitted by the University of Guelph)

Former University of Guelph track and field coach Dave Scott-Thomas has been removed from the Guelph Sports Hall of Fame, according to a statement issued Wednesday by the hall's board of directors.

It was a unanimous decision, the board said.

"The Board of Directors reserves the right to remove an inducted member from the Guelph Sports Hall of Fame after careful review of supporting public information on actions deemed to be extraordinary undesirable or demonstrate detrimental conduct," the statement read.

It is the first time the board has removed an inductee from the hall of fame, according to Heather Flaherty, general manager with the city's parks and recreation department.

She said the board reviewed public information about Scott-Thomas for "a number of weeks" before deciding to remove displays about him Wednesday.

Dave Scott-Thomas is shown in an illustration no longer featured on the Guelph Sports Hall of Fame website. (Paula Duhatschek/CBC)

A profile of Scott-Thomas on the hall of fame website has also been removed, but an archived version of the webpage says Scott-Thomas had been inducted into the hall of fame on May 16, 2018 in the "builders" category.

Inductees in this category are defined as people who "had a long and distinguished career with an athletic organization where their service has been recognized," according to the hall of fame website.

The written profile described awards Scott-Thomas received and coaching positions he held since moving to Guelph.  

"On a wing and a prayer and virtually no budget, Dave Scott-Thomas decided he wanted to move from the running hotbed of Victoria, BC to rebuild the University of Guelph's track and field program," the profile said.

"That was 1997 and now he oversees a running program which is the envy of all others."

Fired from university

Scott-Thomas's removal from the sports hall of fame comes after his former protégée, runner Megan Brown, came forward in a Globe and Mail feature story alleging that he had "groomed her for a sexual relationship" when she was 17 years old.

The allegations against him have not been proven in court.

After the story came out, the University of Guelph released a statement calling the allegations in the story "shocking and disturbing" and issuing a blanket apology "to all athletes, students and co-workers who experienced this behavior."

On Monday, the university's current president Franco Vaccarino also released a statement saying he was "dismayed" by the contents of the story.

"Many of the details reported in the Globe story were unknown to me and the current University administration until now. When we did receive new information in December about Scott-Thomas's past actions, we took action immediately and terminated him from his position," he said in a written statement.

The university has declined interview requests from CBC News on the matter.

Scott-Thomas has also been suspended on an interim basis from Athletics Canada while its independent commissioner completes an investigation.

The Speed River Track and Field Club, which Scott-Thomas founded and where he served as a coach, ceased operations in January.

Attempts by CBC to reach Scott-Thomas have been unsuccessful.

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