Thursday, July 20, 2006

Officially Blind?

Here we have a serious What Would Jesus Do question? A college football official has been fired for not "having two eyes" and failing to meet the "minimum physical requirements."

I'd agree with this pink slip decision if the story ended there, or if the official were NFL referee Walt Coleman (see photo below) of Tuck Rule lore, but there's more to this saga than meets the eye.

First, when the official first lost his eye he reported it to the supervisor of officiating who supported his decision to continue officiating with a prosthetic eye.

Second, his firing comes five years after he'd already been officiating with one eye.

Third, and what I think is most significant, his officiating record is better the five years with one eye than eight years prior with two.

And to top it off he was once chosen to officiate the Orange Bowl, with one eye.

Here's what he says is the reason the college football commission gives:

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.

So, WWJD? In his all knowing wisdom and with 'hell to pay' should he falter, he'd probably ask the college football commission this simple question; What does college football gain by firing a competent and experienced official and what does it lose by keeping a competent and experienced official?

Read the story and judge for yourself.
Partially Blind Official Wants Job Back.

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