The number of former athletes at Ohio State University who claim Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Urbana, knew about allegations of sexual misconduct by the wrestling team doctor, Richard Strauss, in the 1990s has now grown to five.
Before he became a Congressman, Jordan was a successful wrestler at the University of Wisconsin and later was an assistant coach at OSU.
Mike DiSabato, a former OSU wrestler, said Jordan knew about allegations involving the team doctor. Jordan denies it, telling reporters “...never heard of abuse. We would have reported it.”
Ohio State opened the investigation early this year in the wake of the controversy involving Dr. Larry Nassar at Michigan State University. Michigan State paid $500 million to settle lawsuits against the school from victims of Nassar, who was convicted of sexually abusing hundreds of young girls and women. Nassar was also convicted and sentenced to more than 100 years in prison.
When allegations came forward recently about Strauss’ conduct in the 1990s at Ohio State, the university hired a law firm to conduct an investigation. The firm said recently they tried to contact Jordan, but he did not respond.
Jordan said though, it was not a matter of him not responding, it was a faulty attempt to contact him.
“The law firm said they tried to contact me and I didn’t respond. We have no record. They sent the correspondence to an email that doesn’t exist,” Jordan said.
Proving who knew what and what they did about it, if anything, will likely be very difficult, according to Dayton Daily News Columbus Bureau Chief Laura Bischoff. She spent hours going through the Ohio State archives looking at old photos of Jordan coaching the team and other documents.
“I think it’s an extraordinary task. Memories fade. Records might be destroyed. Even the doctor accused in this. He died by suicide 12 years ago in California,” Bischoff said.
Ohio State University has created a website to post documents and updates on the Strauss investigation.
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