Eisen already has dubbed the case Wrestlegate.
That complaint came on the same day that eight former OSU wrestling coaches sent out statements in support of Jordan. The group, which included former head coach Russ Hellickson and five former assitant coaches, said that "what has been said about Jim Jordan is absolutely wrong."
"None of us saw or heard of abuse of OSU wrestlers," their group statement said. "The well-being of student-athletes was all of our concern. If we had heard of any abuse, we would have spoken up.”
The group also included former assistant coaches Dave Ruckman, Rex Holman, Ken Chertow, Myron Kharchilava and Kenny Ramsey Jr. as well as Lee Kemp, a former OSU assistant coach who had previously sent out a statement of support and former volunteer assistant coach John Dougherty. Hellickson also sent out an earlier statement defending Jordan.
Their statement came one day after former wrestler David Range verified earlier reports that Jordan knew about accusations about Strauss. Range, who the Dispatch has not yet been able to reach, spoke to the Washington Post this weekend.
The complaint is the latest development in a scandal that erupted on July 3, when NBC News first reported that three former members of the Ohio State wrestling team told Jordan about their concerns about the team’s doctor, Richard Strauss, ogling and inappropriately touching them during physical examinations. Since then, four more wrestlers have made similar reports to media outlets. Two of those wrestlers — Michael DiSabato and Shawn Dailey — confirmed those reports to The Dispatch. Jordan has vigorously and consistently denied the allegations, saying if he had known about abuse, he would have reported it.
But other wrestlers disputed the idea that Jordan knew, or said while there was open joking about Strauss' behavior, that jokes do not equal reports of abuse. And while the federal government issued guidance in 2001 that required “responsible adults” to report abuse, that guidance did not exist from 1986 to 1994, when Jordan was an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State — though state law at the time required any suspicion of abuse to a person under 18 be reported.
"Everyone is saying, 'Everyone knew,'" said George Pardos, a former OSU wrestler who has come to Jordan's defense. "No, everybody didn't know. If everyobdy didn't know, the reaction would be a lot different." He questioned why the focus has been on wrestling, noting that OSU is investigating abuse in other sports, and said while he cannot speak for all former OSU wrestlers, he never saw inappropriate behavior from Strauss and never heard of any during his time at the school.
Others, including Jordan, have questioned the credibility of DiSabato, the first and most public former wrestler to make the allegations against Strauss and Jordan. They say DiSabato has a long-running beef with Ohio State University over the loss of his right to license merchandise and say he is pulling Jordan into the scandal in order to publicize the scandal to the detriment of Ohio State. DiSabato has said the attacks are an example of victim blaming.
Much of the attention has focused on Jordan, while little, meanwhile, has focused on former coach Russ Hellickson, who acknowledged in a video circulated by Strauss’ accusers that Strauss was “too hands-on” with the wrestlers he treated. In that video, Hellickson said he complained to Strauss about the doctor's behavior, and Strauss defended himself as being thorough. Hellickson has not returned emails seeking comment, but defended Jordan in a statement.
A law firm overseeing the probe for Ohio State has interviewed more than 150 officials and witnesses so far, with former athletes from 14 Ohio sports reporting abuse by Strauss. Strauss' family, meanwhile, issued a statement this weekend saying they are "fully cooperating" with the investigation into complaints from the "alleged victims."
One former wrestler who said Jordan knew of the concerns — Mark Coleman — was also a former assistant wrestling coach. He has not been available for comment to The Dispatch, but reported being inappropriately groped by Strauss as a wrestler at OSU. However, Coleman told the Wall Street Journal of Jordan, “there’s no way unless he’s got dementia or something that he’s got no recollection of what was going on at Ohio State.” It’s unclear whether Coleman reported the abuse to Ohio State.