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Registered sex offender Luke Heimlich requests removal from Oregon State rotation for NCAA tournament super regional

News surfaced this week that Luke Heimlich is a registered sex offender.

College World Series - Arizona v Coastal Carolina - Game Three Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images

No. 1 overall seed Oregon State’s best starting pitcher has asked not to throw in the team’s super regional opener on Friday night, saying that he does not want to be a distraction for his teammates as they play Vanderbilt for a spot in the College World Series proper in Omaha.

Earlier this week, The Oregonian discovered that Luke Heimlich is a registered sex offender in the states of Oregon and Washington, after he was convicted of molesting a six-year-old family member when he was 15. The incident occurred in his hometown of Puyallup, Wash. According to an Oregon State spokesperson, the university doesn’t necessarily know immediately whether a student is a registered sex offender.

Oregon State does learn when a student is a registered sex offender, according to university spokesman Steve Clark. Oregon State Police send the university a list of registered sex offenders in Benton County "on a regular ongoing basis," Clark said. The university then cross-checks those names with its student database to verify sex offenders who have enrolled.

The incident came to light as Benton Country, Oreg. sheriffs started investigating sex offenders who’d let their registrations as such drop. Heimlich’s registration lapsed in April, and The Oregonian learned of his past crime through a public records request.

Heimlich’s matriculation to Oregon State predates a 2015 updated policy on the part of the university that mandates student athletes to register any felony convictions they have in their past.

Heimlich’s status for the rest of the tournament remains unclear.