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Penn State Trainer Who Testified In Frat Death Case Quits

Gene J. Puskar
The Beta Theta Pi fraternity house on the Penn State University main campus in State College, Pa. on Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017.

Penn State said Friday its head football trainer is resigning, a year after he was inside a fraternity house when a pledge suffered fatal injuries during a night of drinking and hazing.

The trainer, Tim Bream, will leave his job by the end of the month. He did not respond to an email seeking comment.

The university declined to say if his departure is related to the prosecution of Beta Theta Pi fraternity brothers in connection with the death of 19-year-old Tim Piazza of Lebanon, New Jersey.

Bream, a fraternity alumnus who had been serving as the chapter's live-in adviser, testified in August that he went to his room after watching a pledge bid acceptance ceremony and left for work the next morning without noticing Piazza.

Piazza fell several times during the evening and overnight, resulting in a fractured skull and damaged spleen.

Authorities say he had also consumed a dangerous amount of alcohol.

Recordings from the fraternity's security cameras captured fraternity members carrying Piazza to the first floor after he'd fallen down a set of basement steps.

He displayed apparent signs of severe intoxication and spent the night on the first floor of the fraternity house, most of it on a couch, but punctuated by episodes in which he stumbled around in the dark.

By morning, fraternity members searching for him found him in the basement and waited about 40 minutes to summon help. Piazza later died at a hospital.

More than two dozen fraternity members have been charged in relation to the death, allegations that range from alcohol violations to involuntary manslaughter and aggravated assault.

Those matters were recently taken over by the state attorney general's office, which has put them on hold while prosecutors evaluate the case.

The videotape showed pledges, including Piazza, racing through a "gauntlet" of drinking stations where they were encouraged to guzzle beer and wine.

On the stand during a preliminary hearing, Bream described himself as a nondrinker.

"I in no way, shape or form would give permission to any type of alcohol abuse, gauntlet, or anything like that," Bream testified. "Nor did I know about it that evening."

Tom Kline, a civil lawyer who represents Piazza's parents, said they are happy to see Bream leaving the university.

"They believe this should have happened a long time ago," Kline said.

In addition to being the football team's head trainer, Bream also is assistant athletic director for athletic training services.