Former Beta Theta Pi advisor Tim Bream has resigned from his position with Penn State Athletics, effective at the end of the month. Bream does not face charges in the case surrounding Tim Piazza’s death, but questions have been raised about his role at the fraternity.
“We appreciate Tim’s contributions to Penn State Athletics and his commitment to the care of our student-athletes and their success,” Associate Athletic Director for Strategic Communications Jeff Nelson said. “We wish Tim success in his future endeavors.”
Bream began working at Penn State in 2012 after a 15-year tenure as head athletic trainer for the Chicago Bears. He worked as the director of athletic training services and head football athletic trainer for the university.
He also lived at the Beta Theta Pi fraternity as an advisor, but university officials have stressed he was there as an alumnus of the fraternity and not in his official capacity as a university employee. Bream took on the advisor role in August 2016.
“Jim and Evelyn Piazzas are pleased to see Tim Bream gone from Penn State,” the family’s attorney Tom Kline said in a statement. “They believe this should have happened a long time ago.”
“This individual’s job was to be an advisor and watch over these students,” Jim Piazza told The Philadelphia Inquirer at that time. “[Bream] had to know there was alcohol going on. He had to know there was hazing going on.”
During preliminary hearings in the case held over the summer, a private investigator said he had attempted to serve Bream a subpoena to appear at the hearings but was unsuccessful after Lasch Building staff and university were “uncooperative.” Defense attorneys sought to have him held in contempt, and he took the stand shortly after.
Bream testified the responsibilities of his role as an advisor didn’t involve him approving or overseeing social activities, and that he wasn’t aware whether or not students were drinking at the fraternity that night. He said he was mostly responsible for making sure the house was taken care of and dealing with finances.
“In no way shape or form would give permission to any type of alcohol abuse or gauntlet, nor did I know about it that evening,” Bream said.
He testified that he knew the brothers planned to apply for a “social permit” from Penn State’s Interfraternity Council, which would allow for alcohol and an exception to their “dry house” status, but didn’t know at the time if they had received it.
On bid acceptance night, Bream said he arrived home at about 9:15 p.m., shortly before the start of a ceremony in which brothers read from a book to the pledges in a darkened room. That part didn’t involve alcohol and he went up to his room afterward, where he remained until 5 a.m. the next day. He testified he did not see evidence of alcohol or see Piazza as he left for work that morning.
This story has been updated to include comment from the Piazza family.