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Rooster
07-18-2006, 01:05 PM
What say you? If you are disabled but can still do the job should you still be fired?



One-eyed referee sues Big Ten over firing

July 18, 2006

BY NATASHA KORECKI Federal Courts Reporter

Can a football referee call a game with just one eye?

Despite what some fans might say, James Filson, a Big Ten conference football referee, says he did it for years successfully and has the ability -- and the right -- to keep officiating games.

He makes the claims in a federal lawsuit he filed Monday after he says he was fired despite calling games for five years with just one eye.

When he was fired, Filson, of Bolingbrook, said he was told that if he "missed a judgement call, which all officials do from time to time, and the public or coaches knew he only had one eye he would have 'hell to pay,' " according to the lawsuit.

Chosen for Orange Bowl

A Big Ten football referee since 1992, Filson's life forever changed in 2000 after he missed a step, apparently fell and hit the corner of a desk, according to his lawsuit. After learning he permanently lost all sight in that eye, he had it removed and a prosthetic put in.

He said he was very open to his bosses about his issues and they wished him a speedy recovery. After some work and surgeries, he returned to officiating and did it for five more years. He was even chosen to referee the Orange Bowl -- "an honor only bestowed upon the highest rated officials in the conference," his lawyers wrote.

Filson says he loves the sport and is dedicated to his job, so after his surgeries he sought medical opinions, which told him he could return to his work. Before doing so, he said he spent the spring and summer of 2000 testing himself at semi-professional football and high school basketball games.

Michigan coach reportedly told

But he said his dream ended in the spring of 2005 when a reporter told University of Michigan's head football coach about Filson's one eye. Filson accuses the coach of calling Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delaney who allegedly urged Filson's firing. Filson said he met with Delaney who told him he was fired because he did not "have two eyes" and lacked "full field of vision." Another supervisor allegedly told Filson the problem emerged "because the coaches know."

Filson says his firing is a violation of the federal disability act and is seeking back pay, reinstatement, and compensatory and punitive damages among other fees.

A Big Ten spokesman could not be reached for comment.

http://www.footballoutsiders.com/2006/07/18/extra-points/4024/

Reaper16
07-18-2006, 01:08 PM
If I were a coach, I'd want league refs to have normal optical function, too.

Rooster
07-18-2006, 01:12 PM
If I were a coach, I'd want league refs to have normal optical function, too.

I would too. I can see this getting messy in court however.

Frazod
07-18-2006, 01:13 PM
Just think, if somebody pokes out his other eye, he'll be able to referee the Super Bowl.

sedated
07-18-2006, 01:19 PM
If he worked for 5 years after losing an eye, he seems capable of doing the job.

But if he made a wrong call against my team, I'd want to hunt him down and shove his testicles into his empty eye socket

Cochise
07-18-2006, 01:19 PM
Just think, if somebody pokes out his other eye, he'll be able to referee the Super Bowl.

ROFL

KCTitus
07-18-2006, 01:20 PM
Just think, if somebody pokes out his other eye, he'll be able to referee the Super Bowl.

dang...I wanted to make a blind ref joke something along the lines of getting a job in the NFL, but I cant beat this one.

Nice job, fraz.

sedated
07-18-2006, 01:25 PM
"And as if blinding his "bitch" wasn't enough retribution for Kelly, the next day he and four other inmates took turns pissing into the "bitch's" ocular cavity."

Frazod
07-18-2006, 01:31 PM
dang...I wanted to make a blind ref joke something along the lines of getting a job in the NFL, but I cant beat this one.

Nice job, fraz.

Thanks. I should do a stand-up routine in Seattle. :D

StcChief
07-18-2006, 01:34 PM
Take the money (they will offer it) and run.

Buster's Dad
07-18-2006, 01:55 PM
Fred Arbanas the tight end for the chiefs during the early years played for serveral years with only one eye, didn't seem tobother him to much

DJay23
07-18-2006, 02:05 PM
His condition was known when he was hired by the Big 10. Why was he hired to begin with if that's the belief of the Big 10? Seems to me he has a pretty good case considering that he's rated well versus refs with 2 functioning eyes. Usually I hate how overlitigious people can be, but this seems about right to me.

Ultra Peanut
07-18-2006, 03:33 PM
Sounds like one more eye than the typical Big Televen* ref, to me.

* Or C-USA, or SEC

Moooo
07-18-2006, 03:35 PM
If Flowers could play corner in the NFL with one eye, this guy can ref college with one. Just put him as something that doesn't require a huge field of vision.

Moooo