This might be the worst PR decision in the history of this great planet. From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
Penn State’s decision to honor a former board member of Jerry Sandusky’s Second Mile charity — a man who said he witnessed Sandusky enter showers with children — has drawn more than 100 complaints to the university in less than 24 hours.
Penn State selected Bruce Heim to join a group of alumni for an honorary coin toss prior to Penn State’s game Saturday against Army as part of Military Appreciation Day. Mr. Heim, 74, is a Vietnam veteran who received a Bronze Star and graduated from the U.S. Military Academy before earning his MBA from Penn State.
But the decision to honor Mr. Heim, given his ties to Sandusky, who in 2012 was convicted of 45 of 48 counts related to the sexual abuse of boys, have reopened wounds many thought were finally starting to heal.
Mr. Heim said Thursday he advised former Second Mile director Jack Raykovitz not to alert fellow board members when he was informed by former Penn State athletic director Tim Curley that Sandusky was seen in a shower with a child. Mr. Heim said Mr. Raykovitz told him Penn State looked into the matter and determined nothing inappropriate happened in the shower.
“Jerry in my presence, in the presence of coaches, in the presence of the football team on several occasions had gone in and showered with kids,” Mr. Heim said. “I said every day at the YMCA men shower with kids.”
Heim says he was investigated, was cleared, yada, yada, yada. He’s probably telling the truth. And, as an Army vet, he’s probably deserving of some sort of adulation.
But, this is the same Heim whom even the guy responsible for the Framing of Joe Paterno documentary thought was a bit… odd:
It was also very obvious to me that Heim was personally very odd and remarkably inappropriate. He told me that he was still convinced that there was no “sex” in the McQueary episode because Mike had admitted that he saw no erection on Sandusky and that he knew from personal experience in his own sex life that, even at an advanced age, that it was impossible to get rid of an erection that quickly. If that wasn’t a strange enough piece of information for him to tell someone he had never met in their second phone conversation, Bruce then apparently put me, briefly, on his personal e-mail chain where the first item he sent out was a series of bare-chested women from Marti Gras.
But that was nothing compared to my final phone conversation with Heim. It must have become clear to him that I was not buying what he was trying way too hard to sell me and that I wasn’t remotely intimidated by him or his money. He called me and told me that he had really struggled with how he had treated Jerry and Dottie. He wondered whether he had abandoned his friends too easily and whether at least some of the charges against him were somehow false.
In 2011, Heim golfed with Sandusky and the person who would come to be known as Victim 2.
Yeah, this seems like the guy you want to roll out in front of 100k people. Penn State’s tone-deafness is, once again, off the charts.
UPDATE: Athletic director punts on responsibility: