Over 100 Former Ohio State Student Athletes Allege Sexual Misconduct by Deceased Team Doctor

Illustration for article titled Over 100 Former Ohio State Student Athletes Allege Sexual Misconduct by Deceased Team Doctor
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The sexual abuse investigation revolving around former Ohio State University professor and team doctor Dr. Richard H. Strauss continues to widen.


As the New York Times reports, the university announced on Friday that more than 100 former students have come forward to share that Strauss engaged in some form of sexual misconduct with them while they were student athletes at Ohio State or patients at the school’s health clinic.

The university, which is working with the law office of Perkins Coie to investigate the sexual misconduct claims, shared more details in its official announcement:

The allegations date from the period 1979 to 1997 and were reported confidentially to the investigative team by former students engaged in university athletics, including varsity men student-athletes in 14 sports, and by former patients of Student Health Services. In August 1996, Strauss established a private medical office in Columbus outside the university setting, where individuals have reported that additional acts of sexual misconduct occurred. Perkins Coie is also investigating whether, and to what extent, Strauss may have examined high school-aged students during his time at the university.

The sexual misconduct allegations against Strauss, who died by suicide in 2005, first emerged publicly earlier this year. Since then, several former student athletes, in particular those on the men’s wrestling team, have shared their stories of Strauss’s misconduct, which include “thorough” check-ups and physicals, unwanted fondling, and groping.

This week, five former members of the Ohio State wrestling team sued the university, charging officials with ignoring reports at the time of Strauss’s abuse. Several of the former student athletes have also accused Representative Jim Jordan, the powerful Republican congressman from Ohio who was an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State in the late 1980s and early 1990s, of similarly dismissing the abuse claims, despite several athletes informing him of Strauss’s misconduct. Jordan has repeatedly denied he knew of any abuse at the time.

Senior reporter, Jezebel



We were required to have a physical before entering Jr. High. When the doctor heard that I had had an orthopedic surgery on my feet, he made me lie on a table and remove my underwear. He then forced my legs open and ran his hands over my inner thighs to “look for additional scars”. He only stopped when I began to cry. I remember thinking “I have to do what the doctor says”, Is this what is supposed to happen?”, “If I say anything, there will be trouble” It’s been 35+ years, and it still bothers me. I’m glad these students/athletes spoke out and continue to speak out.