He Was Convicted of Molesting a 6-Year Old. Should He Have a Future in Baseball?
Citing confidentiality laws, university officials have refused to say what they knew about Heimlich’s background. Coach Casey and Steve Clark, a university spokesman, would not grant interviews with The Times, nor would the Oregon State president, Ed Ray. (Ray was chairman of the N.C.A.A.’s executive committee in 2012 when it leveled unusually stiff penalties against Penn State over the sexual abuse of children by Jerry Sandusky, a former Nittany Lions football coach.)
Ray had issued a statement after the university reviewed the case, saying in part it would “welcome all educationally qualified students, including those rehabilitated from past crimes.”
In his interviews with The Times, Heimlich said that he had not talked about his case with Casey before his plea went public. “It is my job to report to the local law enforcement,” he said. “If that didn’t get conveyed to the university then I would not know, I was not a part of that.”
When the initial report about him was published, the immediate question was whether Heimlich would stay on the team, which was advancing in the N.C.A.A. tournament.
Ray, the Oregon State president, supported Heimlich’s voluntary withdrawal from the team last season. He also left the door open for a return. “If Luke wishes to do so,” he said in a written statement at the time, “I support him continuing his education at Oregon State and rejoining the baseball team.”
Heimlich would have turned professional if he could have. More than 1,200 players were chosen in last summer’s major league draft, but Heimlich, who was eligible for selection, was not one of them — though he had once been projected to be a high pick.
So, with the goal still to make the majors, he returned to the Oregon State team this year.
He has dominated the mound, but not quite as overwhelmingly as before. Last year his pitches were nearly unhittable: his 0.76 earned run average was among the lowest in college baseball. This year, though he is 11-1, that number hovers around 3.00.