After seeing all of this news come out about Heimlich, I thought I should throw my two cents in, especially since I just wrote about him yesterday. This a post I thought I would never make, but here we are I guess. This obviously was not pre planned, I am just writing.
I think everyone’s first reaction, and rightly so, is that sex related crimes should have a zero tolerance policy. Taking advantage of someone sexually is just one of those things that is impossible to be forgiven in our society, similarly to murder.
There is a few issues with this article that just came up at oregonlive.com that are a bit questionable to me, regarding the circumstances of how he got to Oregon State. Let me make this clear, I am in no way denying that this happen, so if someone miraculously reads this, don’t get all pissed off. Also, I thought this was a well written article, so my hat is off to the author there, Mr. Danny Moran. This is a huge story, and they could not have written a classier article. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same about Ms. Stacia Glenn’s article, but who am I to judge. I just wish we would veer away from the shock headlines.
My question stems from the fact that nobody inside of the baseball program knew about this and that it was never discussed. The article states that Oregon State does not require potential student-athletes to disclose any felony charges, however they do know if the student-athlete is a sex offender. Based on that knowledge, I can assume that the Oregon State baseball program knew about this problem with Heimlich, and they allowed this. Let’s look at this in the context of the time however; Heimlich was not a bonafide prospect. He was undrafted, and spent his first season out of the bullpen. Now I cannot say for certain of course, but if there was major character red flags that they had in interviews they had with him, I doubt they would have allowed him to play, simply because his talent at the time was not worth the headaches. Now I am not saying that if you are good enough at a sport, you should be able to get away with anything, but it was not like he was a first round pick out of high school and wanted to come play. However, if the athletic program did not know, that is a gross negligence that needs to be addressed.
So what is my reaction? First off, if the coach and/or athletic director did not know about this, they should be fired immediately. That is a major mistake that cannot be forgiven, but I truly doubt that is the case. Maybe I am naive. So lets just assume that they did if fact know about this, and they still decided to have him on the team. Personally, I just cannot condone letting a know child molester on the team, no matter how great of a person he has become since the incident. I think I am able to forgive him, since I believe that not forgiving him means that we are abandoning all hope, which is something that we should never do. But remember, Oregon State is giving a scholarship to a known child molester, as well as publicity on and off campus that being part of a sports team receives. I just disagree that you should give this guy an opportunity when there was probably numerous other people who could have gotten this spot that did not make these mistakes. We can forgive this person without putting him in the spotlight and I think that would be the responsible thing to do.
I guess we will leave it at that. This was a really hard post to make, because I can see both sides and it was just hard to articulate my point when there is just so many factors here. It is really unfortunate that this event occurred, especially since we are only a day away from Super Regionals starting. Personally, I do not have any kids, so my viewpoint is limited and it is way easier for me to say that we should attempt to forgive him for his actions. If I ever do have kids, my viewpoint probably will change, so take what I say with a grain of salt. I just hope that everyone comes out of this alright, and that people can learn from Heimlich’s mistakes. Have a nice day everyone.
Here is a link to the original story, although I am sure you have seen it already.
Also, what a shit article from Mr. Anthony Barstow, author who works for one of the top three worst papers in America. Can’t believe I still get mad at this stuff, but wow is it bad.