Online fundraiser for Steve Boyd reaches nearly $3,000

Funds will support Boyd’s running club, potential legal expenses

GoFundMe page for Steve Boyd has goal of $60,000.

A GoFundMe page to support recently-fired cross country Coach Steve Boyd was launched on Feb. 28. At the time of publication, it had raised nearly $3,000.

Boyd was dismissed from Queen’s on Feb. 19 after complaints were lodged by Guelph alumni over online comments he made about David Scott-Thomas, a Guelph running coach who was fired for alleged sexual misconduct. The University disputes that Boyd’s firing had been over his criticism of Guelph’s handling of the case, instead saying his history of online commentary was to blame.

Created by Queen’s athletes under the organizing name Gael Force, the funding goal for Boyd is $60,000.

“Clearly a lot of people understand it’s a free speech issue and are choosing to support me,” Boyd said in an interview with The Journal. “They also recognize we’ve done some great work in running, creating a healthy culture, and want to see that continued.”

Boyd didn’t start the page himself, but told The Journal any funds raised would be used for a number of priorities, including replacing scholarship money for any athletes who decide to join Physi-Kult, Boyd’s running club, instead of running for Queen’s in the fall.

“If they don’t run for Queen’s, then they have to sacrifice those scholarship funds,” he said.

Boyd added the scholarships aren’t a lot of money because the maximum award that can be given in the OUA is $4,500 a year.

“I think we have three or four athletes in that position, so that’s the first priority.”

Boyd said the second priority for any funds raised would be for the running club’s activities in the fall. “If I’m paying for the travel and accommodations to go to meets in the fall, I would need to be able to cover that,” he said.

The third priority would be legal support. Boyd told The Journal he’s undecided about whether he’ll mount a legal response to his firing because he’s holding out hope for reinstatement.

“We actually think that reasonable people reviewing the evidence dock will eventually conclude a mistake was made and we won’t have to go the legal route. It’s not something I want to do. I’m holding off on that as a second or third phase of the process.”

Boyd added that he would absolutely return to Queen’s, despite his dismissal.

“We built a fantastic program; it was both a winning program and a healthy program. I would put up with just about anything to go back and help those athletes so they don’t have to face this disruption.”

The University has repeatedly stated it won’t reinstate Boyd, and Boyd said he hasn’t heard from the administration about any offers of reinstatement.

“I would do anything for this team,” he said. “I initially agreed to their gag order for the benefit of the athletes only. I never made a lot of money from Queen’s. That’s not really my main concern. I did it for athletes. I love to work with athletes at that level.”

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