Gophers Coach Jerry Kill had his fourth seizure in 22 games on Saturday at halftime. But Kill is now on the mend and back to work after going to the hospital for a precautionary visit that gave him a clean bill of health. He was even allowed to go home late that afternoon.
But that raised many questions about the health and stability of Kill as the head Coach for the Gophers. Many feel that his epilepsy is a major concern — and not just for Jerry Kill.
The questions are how can Kill do his job if his health is continently at risk? If his seizures become more frequent that is less time he will be on the field and more time he is on the mend.
It has also come into the conversation what if worse comes to worse and Kill dies on the field in front of an audience at TCF Bank Stadium or on the road? How traumatic would that be for the audience and more importantly for Kill’s family?
Regardless of the talk that is going around Kill and his health, he has no intention to resign over his epilepsy— nor should he. Don’t get me wrong epilepsy is a scary thing for everyone involved. You never know what is going to happen from second to second.
Let’s face it; there is risk in everything we do every day. A player could die on the field or Kill could be hit by car outside of a crowded TCF Bank Stadium. Unless you build a wall around yourself you are not susceptible from tragedy.
Now that may make me sound cold but as someone who is related to people who have epilepsy I know firsthand that this does not and will not ever slow them down. They know how to live with this and are absolutely ready, willing and very capable of working jobs just like you and me.
But above personal opinions of the masses or my own– firing Kill is against the law. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, (http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/qanda.html or http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/disability/ada.htm)
Under Title VII, the ADA, GINA, and the ADEA, it is illegal to discriminate in any aspect of employment, including:
- employment decisions based on stereotypes or assumptions about the abilities, traits, or performance of individuals of a certain sex, race, age, religion, or ethnic group, or individuals with disabilities, or based on myths or assumptions about an individual’s genetic information; and
- denying employment opportunities to a person because of marriage to, or association with, an individual of a particular race, religion, national origin, or an individual with a disability. Title VII also prohibits discrimination because of participation in schools or places of worship associated with a particular racial, ethnic, or religious group.
Kill has the law on his side…. and U of M Athletic Director Norwood Teague. On Monday Teague said that he has full confidence in Kill’s ability to do his job. Teague also said that he has not talked to Kill about the worst case scenario that in which his epilepsy would start to interfere. But until Kill can’t do the job anymore, “Go! Gopher Victory, Minnesota Go!”