Following a report that found that coaches at Ohio State University, including now-Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH), had knowledge of ongoing sexual abuse at the time of its occurrence, Jordan claims that the investigation’s findings exonerate him, Politico reports.
“They talked to hundreds ... of people. And the university, for people who were harmed, is going to pay for their counseling," he told reporters on Friday. "But it confirms everything I said. If we’d have known about it, we’d have reported it. It confirms everything I’ve said before. I didn’t know about anything. If I would’ve, I’d have done something.”
The university hired law firm Perkins Coie to investigate allegations against former Ohio State athletics doctor Richard Strauss. They found that Strauss, who committed suicide in 2005, sexually abused at least 177 men from 1979 to 1996 and that university officials were aware of accusations against Strauss during his career.
When the allegations made headlines in 2018, Jordan, who was an assistant coach from 1986 to 1994, fervently denied being aware of the scandal at the time.
But several former students claim that Jordan was aware of accusations against Strauss, and the former coach was explicitly named in legal disputes against OSU. Other former wrestlers reported being frequently harassed by sexually aggressive students and faculty in the university’s training facilities and that coaches including Jordan failed to intervene.
While Friday’s report found that the investigation "did not identify any contemporaneous documentary evidence that members of the OSU coaching staff, including head coaches or assistant coaches, received or were aware of complaints regarding Strauss sexual misconduct,” it also noted that athletes talked about Strauss’s actions freely in the presence of coaches.
22 coaches "confirmed to the Investigative Team they were aware of rumors and/or complaints about Strauss, dating back to the late 1970s and extending into the mid-1990s."