40-Year-Old College Athlete Wants Back on Fire Department

A 43-year-old guy turned some heads when he showed up to try out for the University of New Haven football team, and now he’s in trouble with work because he allegedly played for the team while on sick leave from the fire department.

But he’s fighting that like the linebacker he was back in his glory days.

Wayne Parks, a Fairfield firefighter, was on sick leave because of a rather unfortunate situation of a torn groin muscle. The issue is whether he took part in football practices and team meetings when he was out.

Parks, who has been with the fire department since 1991, is studying arson investigation and criminal justice at UNH and trying to make the team’s defensive line, according to the New Haven Register.

Last month, Fire Chief Richard Felner suspended Parks without pay for two days for insubordination.

Now Parks is challenging the suspension.

Officials say he refused to answer questions about the issue and lawyers are working on brokering some sort of deal with the University of New Haven to answer questions about Parks' hopes to make the football team.

The Fire Commission Thursday decided to put off its discussion of the issue at a future meeting.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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