College Sports

How to dodge questions about Luke Heimlich? Pac-12 Networks has a memo for that

Oregon State’s Luke Heimlich watches the Beavers play Vanderbilt during an NCAA college baseball tournament super regional game Friday, June 9, 2017, in Corvallis, Ore.
Oregon State’s Luke Heimlich watches the Beavers play Vanderbilt during an NCAA college baseball tournament super regional game Friday, June 9, 2017, in Corvallis, Ore. The Associated Press

A recent Pac-12 Networks internal memo instructs staff on how to dodge questions about conference Pitcher of the Year and sex offender Luke Heimlich, Deadspin reported Monday.

The online sports website obtained and published a copy of the memo titled “Oregon State University — Luke Heimlich Situation,” which twice states “do not engage.”

Heimlich, a Puyallup High School graduate, is a star pitcher for the Beavers and a highly regarded pro prospect who was outed last week as a sex offender after he failed to register.

Heimlich pleaded guilty to first-degree child molestation in 2012 for inappropriately touching a 6-year-old girl. He served two years of probation, underwent sex-offender treatment for two years and is now considered a Level 1 offender, which is considered least likely to re-offend.

The Pac-12 Networks memo is split into two sections and reportedly circulated with statements previously released by OSU and Heimlich. The first section is titled “Your Messaging/Positioning” and is summarized with the line “Key — Do not engage in the discussion.”

The memo then gives a bullet list of suggested comments:

▪ “I’ve heard about this story like everyone else.”

▪ “However, I’m not in a position to comment on it and it would be inappropriate for me to do so.”

▪ “All I can say is it’s a difficult situation for everyone involved.”

The second section is title “Potential Questions You May Receive” and is summarized with the line “Key — Regardless of the question, do not engage.”

A sample:

“Q1: What should the Pac-12 do here? What should the Commissioner do? What should be the Pac-12’s position or the Commissioner’s position be on this issue and issues like this?

A1: As a (host, analyst) for Pac-12 Networks, I can’t speak on behalf of the Conference and what it should/should not do.”

The network did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

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