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CANNED: PGA of America Removes Ted Bishop
By Torleif Sorenson on 10/24/14
At 6:20 p.m. EDT this evening, the PGA of America announced that their president, Ted Bishop, has been removed from office:




Following Bishop's juvenile outburst online on Thursday, the PGA of America's Board of Directors on Friday afternoon asked Bishop to resign, but Bishop refused. Shortly thereafter, the Board of Directors impeached Bishop and removed him from his post as president.

In a statement, PGA of America CEO Pete Bevacqua was blunt and straightforward:

“The PGA of America understands the enormous responsibility it has to lead this great game and to enrich lives in our society through golf. We must demand of ourselves that we make golf both welcoming and inclusive to all who want to experience it, and everyone at the PGA of America must lead by example.”
Following the constitution and bylaws of the PGA, Bevacqua said that Vice President Derek Sprague has been appointed Interim President through November 22, when new national officers are scheduled to be elected at the 98th PGA annual meeting. The PGA's Secretary, Paul Levy, will handle Sprague's former duties, as well as his regular duties as secretary until November 22.

Sprague also was quoted in the PGA's official announcement online:

"The Members and Apprentices of the PGA of America must uphold the highest standards and values of the profession, as well as the manner in which we conduct ourselves at all times. We apologize to any individual or group that felt diminished, in any way, by this unacceptable incident."
Even before Bishop's unforced error cost him his job, recent chatter in the golf world has suggested that Dottie Pepper (already an office-holder within the PGA) and the very notable teaching professional Suzy Whaley could find themselves in increased and higher-profile jobs within the PGA of America.

Given the ugly and offensive nature of Bishop's comments, this writer would not be surprised if Pepper and Whaley gain those positions, at least in part to counter the criticism.

Bishop's response

At 7:28 p.m. EDT, Golf Channel posted this prepared statement by Bishop, following his removal from office:

I want to apologize to Ian Poulter and anyone else that I might have offended with my remarks on social media that appeared on October 23, 2014. Particularly, I have great remorse that my comments contained the words "little girl" because I have always been a great advocate for girls and women in golf.

My two children, both girls, have made their careers in golf. I have a 4-year old granddaughter who I hope will someday play the game. In my 37-year career in golf, I have worked with many women to grow the sport and I have been a champion for inclusion and equal rights for women in golf.

However, this is a classic example of poor use of social media on my part and if I had the chance to hit the delete button on the things that I sent out yesterday, I would without hesitation. The PGA of America asked me to avoid any interaction with the media in the past 24 hours and that is why I did not issue a formal and public apology, which I have wanted to do since early this morning.

This afternoon I was asked by my fellow Officers to resign my position as President. I declined because I wanted to speak to our PGA Board of Directors, offer a personal apology and let the due process take place in this matter. The Board heard me out and then voted to impeach me as the 38th President. That is the due process and I respect that, as painful as it might be.

The PGA has also informed me that I will not become the Honorary President nor will I ever be recognized as a Past President in our Association’s history. These, along with the impeachment are drastic consequences for the offense I have committed, but I must live with them. I take great pride in what we were able to accomplish in the last 23 months. Hopefully, we laid the groundwork for a successful future for the PGA of America. Today, all I have left is my PGA membership and that will always mean the world to me.

- Ted Bishop, PGA


The aforementioned Whaley spoke via telephone with Golf Channel:




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