Lawsuit alleges parent wore his referee uniform, influenced Illinois playoff football game

November 20, 2018 / Athletic AdministrationFootball
A lawsuit filed last week accuses an Illinois high school football parent of dressing in his referee uniform while off duty and influencing the outcome of a playoff game.

football refereeThe game in question took place on Nov. 10, when Nazareth Academy — a private school west of Chicago — beat West Chatham 34-27 in the Class 7A quarterfinal. According to the lawsuit, and as reported by the Chicago Tribune, the parent of a Nazareth player is a high school football official who wasn’t working that day. Regardless, the parent wore his referee uniform and was involved in calls made during the game. The lawsuit claims he stood on the sidelines, spoke to referees, and was given access to an area where only referees are permitted.

From the Chicago Tribune:

On Facebook, the father responded to criticism of him being involved in the game by saying, “I did what was needed to make sure Naz won,” according to screenshots included in the lawsuit.

In another comment, the father tells someone, “I didn’t make one bad call. I made sure the best team won.”

The legal argument the Simeon groups are making is that the referees’ actions amounted to a breach of contract, which is different than a rights claim, Anderson said. But the groups will have to prove in court that the contract with IHSA is not just with the school but with the groups and parents of the players.

The lawsuit against the Illinois High School Association asks that no winner be declared in the playoff game. It also asks that the father no longer be permitted to officiate games.

The IHSA has not commented on the lawsuit.

Read more from the Chicago Tribune.

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