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Vision loss and football career

since middle school i've had trouble seeing at night and with peripheral vision. It wasnt until my freshman year of college that i was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa - a degenerative eye disease. I play DI football and havent told my coaches yet. I havent had much of a problem yet because i havent played much. however, next year i am going to be a starting receiver. I dont know whether to tell my coaches or not. I rarely drop a ball, but when i do, its because my eyes. i dont want to lose my team a game because i drop or dont see a crucial pass. I, also, dont want to have to quit football because my coaches wont let me play. Any suggestions on whether to tell them or not?

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Re: Vision loss and football career

It's been a long time since you posted here but im gonna say my piece anyway.

I remember sometime around 12-15 years back, LSU had a guy that started as receiver that was also legally blind, so you're not the first, and hopefully not the last, and his coaches and everybody else knew it. I think you're where you are at for a reason and having a vision problem isn't going to be the thing that stops you. On that note, feel free to tell your coach, or not, but i think in doing so, you set another good example to others with vision problems that they can do things that people disregard them for. I think that players and other successful people like you give others who are suffering with the same sort of thing the realization that just because people think they can't do something, doesn't mean they cant.

You are where you're at because your coach and whoever else think you should be. I don't think your eye disease is going to change that. I think you are in a position to show alot of other people with vision problems, and other disabilities that they can do things that others, and themselves, dont think they can do.

Now that I know who you are, I will be keeping track of your games :)

Re: Vision loss and football career

also, if you have any q's you want to ask about being a blind athlete off the boards, my email is the same as my screen name here at

Re: Vision loss and football career

Luke, not sure if you're still reading this thread, but wanted to reply in case.
I was a DI wrestler for Pitt in 88-89 as a totally blind athlete. I tore my ACL second year, and the AD wanted me to sign paperwork saying Pitt wouldn't have to pay for another surgery if I got hurt again. I figure is because I was blind as I had never heard that before. I not so politely told her what she could do wih her paperwork, and finished my eligibility on the crew team.
I saw you make a nice catch in the Notredame game! Please consider telling your coach, if nothing else your school may consider your story for public relations and as long as you're performing, they won't risk any action. I think that it is important especially if you are a scollarship athlete as they are essentially paying you for a service.
but again, it could be a great thing for you're program. Hell, the AD's of the MAC may be able to work together and keep you away from night games if the schedules aren't already done for next year.
At any rate, GL with everything and I hope you read this.
BTW, your uncle is one of my favorite analysts on TV. I to love and wanted to play football as a career, but lost my vision in grade school, so never played beyond Pop Warner.

Re: Vision loss and football career

Hey i had a buddy of my also had that problem . It got to the point where his game was hurting the team and he told his coach and after a while the stop playing him. I think same with you , as difficult as it might be you have to be honest to yourself maybe you could have a different position in the team?

Re: Vision loss and football career

(if this post twice sorry lol idk what I did) Hi LukeMayock!
It's ultimately your call. You always want to put yourself in the best position to succeed. Especially with sports since it's so competitive. My seeing eye has a lot of peripheral loss, and I played sports in high school and contemplated a lot on telling my coaches. (Cause I didn't tell anybody about my vision loss...still keep it a secret) I didn't want them to treat me different or like you said, give my team some bad stats. They thought it was cool actually lol. A lot of good can come from this. It's obvious you have a lot of potential and skill since you're on a D1 team and will be a starting receiver. That's freaking awesome! You'll probably get a lot of clout lol but your coaches must think highly of you and if you do decide to tell them hopefully they'll be supportive and understanding.

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