Embattled OSU pitcher won’t go to College World Series - KPTV - FOX 12

Embattled OSU pitcher won’t go to College World Series

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Luke Heimlich (KPTV) Luke Heimlich (KPTV)
CORVALLIS, OR (KPTV/AP) -

Oregon State pitcher Luke Heimlich, who as a teenager pleaded guilty to molesting a 6-year-old girl, will not accompany the Beavers to the College World Series.

The 21-year-old left-hander made the announcement in a statement released through a representative for his family. He called going to the series something that he and his teammates have worked toward all year.

"I'm sad to say I am not joining them because doing so would only create further distraction for my teammates, more turmoil for my family and given the high profile of the national championship, direct even more unwanted attention to an innocent young girl," the statement said.

The university sent a note to students, faculty and staff Thursday morning addressing the issue. The message from OSU President Ed Ray noted how Heimlich’s story “triggered a great deal of sorrow and pain in other victims of sexual assault and among their loved ones.”

Ray also noted that he believed Heimlich was correct in stepping back from the team but did say he would support him continuing his education at Oregon State and possibly rejoining the baseball program next year.

Prior to the reports surfacing last week about Heimlich’s past, he had been named the Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year and was being projected to be drafted as high as 43rd in this week’s Major League Baseball draft. Following the news about his past conviction, Heimlich went undrafted.

The university has also been asked to consider tighter restrictions regarding student-athletes with histories of sexual violence by Brenda Tracy, a well-known advocate who survived being gang-raped by four men in 1998, some of whom were football players at Oregon State.

Reporting by Anne M. Peterson, AP Sports Writer

Copyright 2017 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation and The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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