Celebrities Unaware of Sandusky Charity Board Membership

Mark Wahlberg, Arnold Palmer, Cal Ripken listed on Second Mile honorary board.

Nov. 17, 2011 — -- The allegations of sexual molestation of young boys leveled against a former Penn State football coach have shocked the nation, but a few celebrities were in for another jolt when they found out their names were directly tied to the coach's and apparently had been for years.

From movie star Mark Wahlberg to baseball icon Cal Ripken Jr. and golf legend Arnold Palmer, a handful of household names were listed on the Honorary Board for the Second Mile Foundation, the charity former Penn State defensive coach Jerry Sandusky founded in the 1970s and, according to investigators, used to meet some of his alleged victims. Sandusky currently faces dozens of charges surrounding the alleged sexual abuse of several young boys over a 15 year period. He has admitted to showering with some of the boys, but maintains he is innocent of any criminal acts.

Some of the celebrities, like Wahlberg and Ripken Jr., said they never had any idea they were on the board and only had a passing acquaintance with the charity.

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In a statement to ABC News, a representative for Wahlberg said he had only made a couple donations to the charity and never participated in any events. Ripken Jr. was so surprised that he asked Second Mile to remove his name from the list last week, according to a report from The Baltimore Sun. Second Mile has since removed the list completely from their website.

A representative for Palmer said he did not know how the golfer made his way onto the board, but it was possibly because Palmer is a Pennsylvania native.

"You know how honorary boards work, where they just like to add a name to the honorary board," Cori Britt, Vice President of Arnold Palmer Enterprises, told ABC News Wednesday. "[Palmer] never performed any functions, never attended any of the meetings or did any activities surrounding Second Mile.

"It was purely by name only," he said.

Britt said that at the time Palmer's name was added, however, Palmer had most likely given the charity permission to do so.

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Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid told ESPN he was "unaware" he was a member of the board and former Notre Dame coach and ESPN analyst Lou Holtz found himself in a similar position when he penned a statement about his connection to the charity last week.

"Only yesterday did I realize I was on their advisory board," Holtz wrote. "I have had no contact or correspondence with Second Mile or Jerry Sandusky since 2009 with the exception of thank you notes for one of their most successful events.

"If the allegations are true, I, like the many good people who support Second Mile, am upset over being misled," Holtz said.

Second Mile did not respond to a request for comment on this report.

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