By Sandy….part 3 of a 3-part series…..
“I’m sad to say I am not joining [the Beavers at the College World Series] 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,” was part of Luke Heimlich’s statement released the 15th.
He continued, “I want to wish my teammates the best. I hope they understand this decision as my family and I continue to work through this together. My hope is to return to OSU next year as a student-athlete and continue to earn the trust of my community.
“For the past six years, I have done everything in my power to demonstrate that I am someone my family and my community can be proud of and show the one person who has suffered the most that I am committed to living a life of integrity. This situation has caused great pain to my family members over the years and I am devastated that they have to relive it all again so publicly.”
According to his coaches and instructors, Luke is excelling at his commitment to earn the trust and respect of his community.
In a statement released shortly after Luke’s was released, Ed Ray, president of Oregon State, backed the pitcher’s decision to extend his leave of absence and said he supported Heimlich continuing his education at Oregon State and rejoining the baseball team next season.
NARSOL and all who support the rights of those who have criminal pasts to demonstrate their rehabilitation and become productive citizens commend both Luke and the university for their actions throughout this entire situation.
We recognize that there will be members of the media, the sports community, and the general public who will continue in their condemnation of Luke and their insistence that, due to his behavior when he was a teenager, he is unfit to represent the school or the team. With their negativity toward Luke, they are telling the world that they prefer those who have committed crimes never to be rehabilitated. They are showing that they have a higher regard for their own self-righteous assessment of the situation than they do for what is best for a promising young athlete and an innocent young child and indeed for public safety and society as a whole.
They are showing a complete lack of the qualities for which Luke and Oregon State University have distinguished themselves: honor, dignity, class, and integrity.
Sandy, a NARSOL board member, is communications director for NARSOL, editor-in-chief of the Digest, and a writer for the Digest and the NARSOL website. Additionally, she participates in updating and managing the website and assisting with a variety of organizational tasks.