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Former Darien football player gets probation for pre-Turkey Bowl fight

darien-police-patchA Stamford Superior Court jury granted Scott Waters accelerated rehabilitation and 250 hours of community service for a fight that sent a 17-year old to the hospital, ending a controversial case that called into question varsity football team ethics off the field.

Waters, 19, was also ordered to be reviewed by a probation officer for potential alcohol and substance abuse treatment, and he is not allowed to have any contact with the victim. The victim, a senior at Darien High School, was treated for a broken bone in his neck, a broken nose, facial lacerations and a severe concussion, his family told The Darien Times.

The fight happened at a party on Hollow Tree Ridge Road, in a barn near a home where the parents told police they didn’t know the party was happening. Police also charged a minor for providing alcohol to minors, although no charges were brought against the property owners.

“There was no evidence suggesting that the parents knew about the party as it was necessary to wake them during the investigation as they had been asleep,” said Darien Police Capt. Fred Komm.

Waters’ probation will last two years, during which time he must complete his community service and not get into any legal trouble. Waters faced felony assault charges after the fight, and another football player, a minor, is being tried in the case. Waters pleaded not guilty in February.

During the trial, Waters’ father, Arthur, was fired from his position as the high school diving coach. School officials declined to comment on the reasoning for his dismissal, however, sources close to the situation said the schools’ decision to fire Waters was an attempt to clean up an athletic program that has nurtured a get-out-of-jail-free mentality among football players.

The night of the fight, police said that Arthur was “extremely uncooperative” with them when they came to the Waters home early in the morning, Komm said.

Scott Waters played cornerback and wide receiver at the Canterbury School last fall, and played for DHS in 2010. The minor, who was tried in juvenile court for the fight, was also reportedly involved in the spray painting of New Canaan High School in 2010 before the annual Turkey Bowl football game between the rival football teams. Five football players were ordered to pay $1,500 each in restitution to New Canaan Schools for repairs after that incident.

At that time, attorney Mark Sherman, who represented two of the students, maintained hope that the restitution was an adequate penalty.

“The boys have learned some valuable life lessons from this incident and are ready to move on with their lives,” Sherman told The Times.

The 2011 fight involving Waters ended with at least two players suspended from the Turkey Bowl game, which Darien lost 42-21.

Darien football coach Rob Trifone wrote in an email to The Times that it’s a “shame” his players didn’t have the foresight to walk away from the fight.

“We of course have no control over the decisions that individuals make when they are not under our watchful eye,” Trifone wrote, “but I think all of young student-athletes need to learn from this.”

“People who are close to our program, understand that this is by no means a reflection of our program, rather the senseless actions of individuals,” Trifone added. “Our football family knows and understands what we foster in our program and they all know that there is no place for that type of behavior in our program or any of the other programs here at the high school as well.”

ddesroches@darientimes.com

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