Former Track Coach Claims He Was Kept Off Course Illegally
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
May 9, 2003
OMAHA, NEBRASKA--Last fall, former Fremont High School track coach Pat Murphy traveled nearly 200 miles to Kearney to attend the state high school cross country meet.
When he arrived, however, a parking lot attendant told him that he would not be able to use his wheelchair or golf cart because the ground was wet from a recent snowfall and organizers were worried about the course being torn up.
"I'm an Irishman, and I got my ire raised," Murphy told the Lincoln Journal Star. "I decided I'm not going to stand for it. They done me wrong."
Last week, Murphy filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court against the Nebraska School Activities Association, claiming he was denied access to the event under the Americans with Disabilities Act. He is suing for the expense of his trip, pain and suffering, and punitive damages.
Jim Tenopir, NSAA executive director, said that fans were not kept off the course. Organizers used carts to shuttle fans with disabilities from the admissions gate to the end of the course's cart paths, a couple hundred yards from the finish line.
Tenopir said Murphy would have been shuttled to that spot if he had gone to the admissions gate.
Murphy said that he wasn't going to argue with the parking lot attendant.