Oregon State University has announced a policy change that could impact student-athlete eligibility.
OSU will now require all new and continuing students to self-report any past felony convictions or registration as a sex offender prior to the fall 2018 term.
The policy change may have been prompted by the revelation just before the College World Series that OSU’s star pitcher, Luke Heimlich, had pled guilty in 2012 to sex abuse. As a result, Heimlich bowed out of last year’s Series.
OSU said it will conduct a “confidential case-by-case review of each of the self-disclosing situations.”
A spokesman told the Oregonian that Steve Clark, OSU’s dean of student life, will “determine any extracurricular engagement and participation limitations or requirements needed for safety involving a self-disclosed student."
"Where there is not a safety risk posed by the student participating in an activity, OSU will support the student's participation in programs and activities, and their success," Clark said.
In a statement, OSU president Ed Ray, said the purpose of the new policy is not to “prevent students with these histories from enrolling, but rather to support the safety of the OSU community, and to support these students' success as they progress through their education onto graduation.”
The new policy came at the recommendation of a task force put together by Ray to review OSU’s admission and attendance policies. OSU does not currently ask applicants whether they have a prior felony conviction. That policy will remain in place, but students will now be required to disclose the information after being admitted but before enrolling in classes.
Ray said the move is not about optics. "This policy is not about this university's public image," Ray said in a statement. "It is about serving OSU's educational mission, supporting student success and prioritizing community safety. This policy and all of my decisions always will be in alignment with Oregon State's mission, values and commitments.”