Western Washington University’s head track and field coach received a formal reprimand after he allowed a man convicted of a felony to stay on the team as a volunteer coach.
Director of Athletics Steve Card wrote the letter to coach Kelven “Pee Wee” Halsell on April 10, 2017. The document was obtained by The Bellingham Herald in a records request.
The letter came more than two years after Bellingham police arrested Tanner David Boyd, 26, in November 2014. Boyd was accused of breaking into women’s apartments and putting on their clothes. He pleaded guilty to reduced charges on Nov. 9, 2016, and was sentenced to 90 days in jail, according to court records.
Days after his plea, WWU police arrested Boyd at the Highland residence hall in the early morning hours of Nov. 12, according to police records. There, witnesses said he broke into the residence halls of several female students and put on their clothes while they slept inside the rooms, charges say. He was charged in Whatcom County Superior Court with two counts of residential burglary, attempted residential burglary and third-degree theft.
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Halsell knew about the 2014 arrest and subsequent conviction, but did not tell administrators until the day of the 2016 arrest, said WWU spokesman Paul Cocke. Boyd was immediately barred from campus, Cocke said. Halsell was verbally reprimanded at the time, and knew a written version was on its way, Cocke added.
Halsell, reached by phone Friday, declined to comment.
In his letter, Card said Halsell has been an “outstanding role model for student athletes” in his 30 years at Western. But Card added that Halsell’s failure to mention Boyd’s 2014 arrest put the track and field program in jeopardy.
“Due to the risk that you exposed to yourself, our department, and our institution, any further negligence in your duty as coach may result in termination,” Card wrote.
Some resident advisers at the university say the break-in at Highland Hall is an example of administrators’ poor response to growing concerns from student workers.
Read the letter
Click here to read the letter of reprimand WWU Director of Athletics Steve Card sent to track and field head coach Kelven “Pee Wee” Halsell.