A fifth former OSU wrestler is accusing U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan of knowing about sexual abuse by Dr. Richard Strauss when Strauss was a sports doctor for Ohio State University.
"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," Mark Coleman told the Wall Street Journal in a story published Friday. "I have nothing but respect for this man, I love this man, but he knew as far as I'm concerned."
Coleman, a former UFC world champion, is now one of five former wrestlers who say that Jordan, an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State University in the 1980s and 1990s, was aware of allegations of sexual misconduct by Strauss.
The university is currently conducting an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct and says it has interviewed more than 150 former athletes and witnesses so far.
Jordan, who announced earlier this year that he is considering running for House speaker or minority leader depending on how Republicans fair in the 2018 elections, has strenuously and repeatedly denied knowing about any abuse at the university and said he would have done something were he aware of it. The Urbana Republican's office is currently in the process of setting up an interview with investigators hired by OSU. The lawyers earlier had tried to reach Jordan through a faulty email address.
Coleman had earlier discussed his abuse by Strauss in a video produced by those accusing Strauss of improper conduct. In the video, he discussed receiving a physical from Strauss that involved the doctor touching him inappropriately. "I never had a physical like this before," he said.
But Coleman did not mention Jordan in that video.
Separately, the Associated Press reported that in all, seven former athletes and a former nursing student shared detailed allegations of sexual misconduct dating back to the 1970s against Strauss, who killed himself in 2005 at age 67.
The eight men, including three who didn't want their names made public, say they want to see anyone who ignored concerns about Strauss held accountable and hope to make sure something similar doesn't happen to others.
They described how Strauss fondled them during medical exams and ogled naked young men, sometimes showering among athletes multiple times a day for no apparent reason or perching himself on a stool to stare. Some said Strauss groped them barehanded during physicals, had them drop their pants even while examining them for a cough or heartburn, and badgered students to go home with him.
Two of the athletes who spoke to the AP say Strauss wasn't stopped even after they complained — one to a coach and another to a school physician.
Former wrestling team captain Dave Mulvin said he raised concerns in the late 1970s, when Strauss fondled him during an exam that Mulvin abruptly ended, telling the doctor his behavior was "weird." Mulvin said he went to the student health center to finish the exam and complained about Strauss to another doctor, who shrugged it off.
Some athletes saw it as the price of getting medicine or treatment. Nick Nutter, an All-America wrestler in the 1990s, said he constantly did a calculation before deciding whether to see Strauss: "Is this injury bad enough that I'm going to get molested for it?"
Another former Ohio State wrestler echoed other wrestlers' claims Thursday. Shawn Dailey confirmed to The Dispatch he was groped half a dozen times by Strauss while Jordan was the assistant wrestling coach. Dailey told NBC News he was too embarrassed to report the abuse directly to Jordan at the time, but he said Jordan took part in conversations where Strauss' abuse of many other team members came up.
Dailey, questioning Jordan's denials of knowing about the abuse, corroborated the account of another wrestler, Dunyasha Yetts, who said he'd protested to Jordan and head coach Russ Hellickson after Strauss tried to pull down his shorts when Yetts saw the doctor for a thumb injury.
"Dunyasha comes back and tells Jimmy, 'Seriously, why do I have to pull down my pants for a thumb injury?'" Dailey recalled to NBC news. "Jimmy said something to the extent of, 'If he tried that with me, I would kill him.'"
Clarifying his account to The Dispatch, Dailey said he had been close to Jordan while at Ohio State, but that he'd "not maintained regular contact with him" since.
"It's not that I think someone went to Jim and said 'I've been assaulted,' and he ignored it, I think it's that there were warning signs that were missed," Dailey said.
But other former wrestlers expressed skepticism that abuse occurred.
Phil Anglim, who wrestled for the Buckeyes from 1978 to 1981, said he was not aware of any abuse at Ohio State by Strauss.
The era was different and far less politically correct. While they talked — and joked — openly about Strauss' suspected homosexuality, Anglim is skeptical of the prospect that the diminutive Strauss could've assaulted one of the wrestlers if he'd tried.
"This is not Larry Nassar, Michigan State stuff," he said, referring to the former gymnastics coach sentenced to prison for abusing numerous girls and young women.
©2018 The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio)
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