It is not possible that Republican Rep. Jim Jordan was unaware of sexually abusive behavior by Ohio State University’s wrestling team physician during his time as assistant coach, according to former wrestlers – the abuse was far too open, they say.
Jordan, a prominent Republican from Ohio, was an assistant coach at OSU from 1986-94. NBC reported on Tuesday that three former OSU wrestlers described the alleged abuse by Strauss as common knowledge and that he assaulted as many as 2,000 student athletes from 1978-98.
“I considered Jim Jordan a friend,” Mike DiSabato, one of Strauss’s accusers, told NBC. “But at the end of the day, he is absolutely lying if he says he doesn’t know what was going on.”
Jordan insisted again Wednesday that he knew nothing when asked about the issue at a July 4 Tea Party rally Wednesday in Fremont, Ohio:
“I did know Dr. Strauss,” Jordan said. “He was there when we got to Ohio State, and continued to work at Ohio State once I left.
“But there’s no truth to the fact that I knew of any abuse. I’ve talked to other coaches, and they didn’t know of any abuse. It’s just not accurate to say those things, that we knew of it and didn’t report it.”
However, DiSabato told CNN Wednesday that Jordan was present in the showers when inappropriate behaviors took place:
DiSabato described an environment where student-athletes shared a shower with multiple staff and faculty members who “were involved in lewd acts that included public masturbation” and “excessive soaping of their groin area.”
“Dr Strauss was one of those that took a lot of showers and soaped himself a lot,” DiSabato said. “So, when you look at the definition of sexual abuse and sexual assault — and Jim Jordan just went on record saying he knew about the facilities — he took showers with us. He saw Dr. Strauss and others perform these kinds of acts in front of us.”