Dennis Wiseman, a former FIU pitching ace, received the honor of throwing out the first pitch of FIU’s baseball season Saturday afternoon. That’s also Dennis Wiseman, registered sex offender since 1997, when he was charged with unlawful sexual activity with a minor.
An FIU spokesman told the Miami Herald the decision to have Wiseman throw out the first pitch was made by FIU baseball coach Turtle Thomas, and Thomas would only answer questions Monday about the 4-0 Panthers.
A source close to FIU told the Miami Herald that Wiseman also has gone on the team plane during football road trips, something with which Thomas has no connection.
An FIU spokesman said director of sports and entertainment Pete Garcia was not available for comment.
Wiseman pitched at FIU from 1986 to ’89, winning 32 games, which is still the second most in school history, and set a still-standing school record of 464 innings pitched. His four career shutouts rank second in FIU history.
After Wiseman graduated from FIU with a degree in criminal justice, the St. Louis Cardinals selected him in the 30th round of the 1989 Major League Baseball Draft.
Wiseman bounced around the minor leagues for seven seasons, peaking at the Triple A level in 1993 when he went 7-9 with a 5.06 ERA for Louisville.
In May 1997, North Miami police arrested Wiseman, then a teacher and assistant baseball coach at North Miami High, and charged him with three counts of unlawful sexual activity with minors, the charge when the adult is 24 years old or older and the minor is 16 or 17. It’s a second degree felony.
Wiseman, who was 29 at the time, was accused of having sexual encounters with a 16-year-old student. Wiseman paid his $22,500 bond and later entered a plea of not guilty.
In August 1997, however, Wiseman changed his plea on all three counts and the case ended with a finding of guilt with an order withholding adjudication that included probation with special conditions.
Wiseman’s five-year probation ended in 2002, but he’s still required to keep law enforcement abreast of his residences as a sex offender.
According to his LinkedIn profile, starting in 1999, he spent 4 1/2 years with Florida United Radiology as project manager, then nine years with Radiology Associates of South Florida as chief operating officer.
Attempts to reach Wiseman by phone Monday night were not successful.