The Guelph Sports Hall of Fame has removed Dave Scott-Thomas amid allegations that the former track coach had a sexual relationship with an underage athlete.
The board of directors made the unanimous decision on Wednesday, just days after The Globe and Mail detailed an alleged 2002 affair between the coach and former student-athlete Megan Brown, who was 17 years old at the time.
Global News has not been able to verify any of the allegations. Global News has reached out to Scott-Thomas numerous times for comment but has not heard back. The Globe and Mail reported that Scott Thomas’ lawyer said the allegations are “unsubstantiated” and “inaccurate.”
Scott-Thomas was known as one of the most successful track coaches in Canada. He led the Guelph Gryphons to 37 national titles and earned U Sports coach of the year 35 times.
He also served as a coach on 16 Canadian national teams, including the 2016 Rio Olympics and the 2015 and 2017 world track and field championships.
Scott-Thomas was inducted into the Guelph Sports Hall of Fame in 2018 following immense success at the university and the Speed River Track and Field Club, which he founded.
He was fired by the university last December and the club has since ceased operation.
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This is the first time the hall of fame has removed one of its members since it was created in 1993.
“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 extraordinarily undesirable or demonstrate detrimental conduct,” the board said in a statement.
A plaque honouring Scott-Thomas has already been removed from the hall of fame’s wall outside of the Sleeman Centre.
The university said on Jan. 9 that Scott-Thomas lied repeatedly during a 2006 investigation into complaints made by a family member of a student-athlete. The Globe and Mail reported on Feb. 8 that it was Brown’s father who filed the complaints.
Those alleged lies were only discovered during another investigation in 2019 following complaints by another student-athlete, according to the university.
An apology by U of G president Franco Vaccarino was posted online on Monday.
“Many of the details reported in the Globe story were unknown to me and the current university administration until now,” Vaccarino said. “When we did receive new information in December about Scott-Thomas’s past actions, we took action immediately and terminated him from his position.”
His termination from U of G does not – and cannot – make up for the fact that people experienced hardships and suffering. For this, I am truly sorry. I extend a personal apology to any current or former student-athletes who experienced inappropriate and unacceptable behaviour.”
Athletics Canada has also suspended Scott-Thomas pending the outcome of an investigation by their independent commissioner’s office. The national governing body for athletics has maintained that no complaints have been made directly to them or its independent commissioner’s office.