Former John Carroll University head football coach Regis Scafe has sued the University for age discrimination in a lawsuit that is set to go to trial in February in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court, court records show.
Scafe, 63, was fired by the University just over a year ago, on Nov. 15, 2012, following the team’s 6-4 season. Scafe had been at the helm of the team for 14 years, compiling a career record of 88 wins and 56 losses. He was replaced on Dec. 5, 2012 by Tom Arth, 32, a former All-American quarterback for the Blue Streaks who went on to play for the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts. Arth also served an assistant coach and offensive coordinator for the Blue Streaks from 2010 to 2012.
The JCU football team, ranked No. 9 nationally in Division III, went 9-1 this season, their first year under Arth, earning an at-large bid last Sunday for the NCAA Division III playoffs. The Blue Streaks will host No. 25 St. John Fisher on Saturday at Don Shula Stadium.
Before the season began, on Feb. 6, Scafe filed his lawsuit against JCU, alleging that the University replaced him with a “younger, less qualified individual,” among other claims. In court papers, the University denied the “less qualified” part of the allegation.
The final pretrial for the case is set for Jan. 15, 2014 at noon, and the jury trial is scheduled to take place on Feb. 10 at 9 a.m.
Scafe’s lawyers could not be contacted for comment on this story. The Office of Legal Affairs at the University declined comment, and the attorneys representing the University could not be reached. However, in court papers they have denied that JCU discriminated against Scafe, who is now the linebackers coach at Notre Dame College.
In his lawsuit, Scafe indicated that the University discriminated against him on the basis of age and refused to promote, transfer, rehire or recall him to other available positions for which he was qualified, which violates an Ohio law prohibiting discriminatory practices. Lawyers for JCU denied the claim, saying that the University’s actions were taken “in good faith and for legitimate, nondiscriminatory, non-retaliatory business reasons.”
The University also denied Scafe’s allegation that, at the time he was fired, he successfully performed the duties and responsibilities of his position and was qualified for the position he held.
In addition, Scafe claimed that he suffered and will continue to suffer economic and non-economic injuries, including pain and suffering and the loss of salary, benefits and other terms, privileges and conditions of the employment as a direct result of his termination. The University denied these allegations as well.
Scafe is suing for an amount in excess of $25,000 to compensate him for the alleged damages and losses that the University’s actions cost him.
Scafe was the longest tenured coach in the program’s history, spanning 14 seasons. Under Scafe’s leadership, the Blue Streaks clinched nine winning seasons and one visit to the NCAA Division III semifinals in 2002. That same year, he was named the Ohio Athletic Conference Co-Coach of the Year.