DWI charge benches Heaney
Parent, coaches beg for reversal of punishment
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A star running back on the Porters football team has been charged with drunk driving and will not be allowed to suit up for the Greenport/Southold/Mattituck team's opening game Friday night against Hampton Bays.
School officials suspended 17-year-old Sean Heaney, a three-sport athlete, from participating in school sports for the remainder of the year. The senior was arrested for driving while intoxicated after an Aug. 23 car wreck on Front Street in Greenport, police reported this week.
Scholar athletes in Greenport sign a contract that prohibits players from possessing or using drugs or alcoholic beverages with the knowledge that such behavior would result in blocking them from participation in or attendance at all extra-curricular activities.
Mr. Heaney's father, Kerry Heaney, protested the punishment at Wednesday during the Greenport school board's meeting. He was joined by his son, coaches, parents and his son's teammates. Sean Heaney shouldn't be punished for an alleged offense, his father told the board.
Other speakers at the meeting said they were not opposed to punishment, but that the arrest should not block the athlete from playing this fall at a time when the all-division player is being evaluated by college football scouts for a possible scholarship.
It could make or break his future, they argued. Sean Heaney also wrestles and plays lacrosse at school.
Board members said they can't act unless an offical appeal is made protesting Sean Heaney's expulsion from the football team and other activities. Kerry Heaney said after the meeting that he will decide within the next week whether to file an appeal or take other actions on his son's behalf.
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