BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (August 20, 2015) - Organizers with Bloomington’s Hoosier Half Marathon were excited about landing a celebrity starter. He was a Hoosier. He was someone who knew about living an active lifestyle.
He was Subway’s Jared Fogle.
“It seemed really like we’d hit the home run,” said Bill Bartley, event coordinator for the Hoosier Half Marathon.
This past April, Fogle brought his family with him to the race and he ran the 5K. The day was considered a success, raising around $6,000 for the Jared Foundation. Alongside Fogle that day was the director of the Jared Foundation, Russell Taylor.
A week after the race, the child pornography investigation involving Taylor and Fogle started unfolding. FBI agents first raided Taylor’s home. Bartley called Fogle.
“He put the guy in charge of his foundation. You would vet somebody pretty good for something like that, it’s got your name on it,” said Bartley.
Fogle released this statement: “I was shocked to learn of the disturbing allegations against Mr. Taylor. Effective immediately, the Jared Foundation is severing all ties with Mr. Taylor.”
Bartley wanted to believe Fogle. The two talked about the plans for next year’s race and decided it wasn’t the best idea to give the $6,000 to the Jared Foundation. In July, FBI agents raided Fogle’s Zionsville home.
“That’s when I kind of knew there was probably more to the story,” Bartley said.
We now know through court documents that Fogle admitted to paying minors for sex, even saying "the younger the better." Investigators know he went online to find his victims and even coordinated his business trips around soliciting sex.
“I feel bad for his family and I feel bad for the victims most of all. It makes me sick to my stomach,” Bartley said.
Bartley and Fogle had a deal based on a handshake. Fogle would be the celebrity starter for the next three years and the proceeds would go to his foundation.
Bartley broke that deal the day FBI agents started searching through Fogle’s home.
“He lied to me and I’m not the only one, obviously,” he said.
Race organizers are planning to distribute the proceeds to deserving programs. Grant applications are being accepted. If interested, contact Bartley at firstname.lastname@example.org