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October 05, 2015

Penn State Rescinds Honor for Ex-Sandusky Charity Trustee

Pennsylvania State University pulled an invitation Friday to a former board member of a youth charity founded by convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky to take part in an honorary coin toss at a weekend football game, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The planned honor for Bruce Heim drew a slew of complaints from Penn State fans and alumni after it was announced last week.

Mr. Heim, a Vietnam veteran, was invited to take part in the ceremony marking Military Appreciation Day before Saturday's home game against Army. The selection was made by a committee with representatives from inside and outside Penn State. In a statement Friday evening, university President Eric Barron said Mr. Heim's inclusion "has re-opened deep wounds in our community that do not involve his service to country but have distracted the public from the purpose of the day."

Mr. Heim was vice chairman of the Second Mile, a nonprofit founded by Mr. Sandusky to serve at-risk youtsh, and its biggest donor. The charity closed in 2012 in the wake of the longtime Nittany Lions assistant coach's arrest and conviction for sexually abusing boys. Mr. Heim told the Post-Gazette on Thursday that he had no prior knowledge of Mr. Sandusky's activities. He did not return a call for comment Friday about the withdrawal of the invitation.