Jim Jordan, a Republican congressman from Ohio, has been linked to covering up the sexual assault of Ohio State wrestlers by a team doctor, which has been reported to have occurred for more than 20 years.
Wrestlers have come forward to report the sexual assault, but Jordan, who was an assistant coach during that time, has denied any knowledge of it. The wrestlers are surprised that he would deny the actions, as they believe it was common knowledge among the coaching staff of the doctor’s actions.
One former wrestler, Mike DiSabato, claims he approached Jordan about an encounter he had with team doctor Richard Strauss. According to DiSabato, Jordan’s response was “please leave me out of it.” DiSabato told NBC News, “I considered Jim Jordan a friend. But at the end of the day, he is absolutely lying if he says he doesn’t know what was going on.”
Other wrestlers contend that it was openly known that Dr. Strauss was behaving this way, including one former wrestler that asked not to be named, who told NBC, “It was a head-scratcher to me why he would say he didn’t know anything. Doc used to take showers with the team even though he didn’t do any workouts, and everybody used to snicker about how you go into his office for a sore shoulder and he tells you to take your pants down.”
DiSabato, worried the university would try to cover this up, told the school in an email: “We [are] watching you. You have the platform to cut through the double talk, placation and finger pointing.
When contacted for comment, Jordan’s spokesman, Ian Fury, told NBC, “Congressman Jordan never saw any abuse, never heard about any abuse, and never had any abuse reported to him during his time as a coach at Ohio State.”
Jordan’s spokesman later added to his statement: “He has not been contacted by investigators about the matter but will assist them in any way they ask, because if what is alleged is true, the victims deserve a full investigation and justice.”
Jordan is at the height of his career, with rumors that he could take over the duties of speaker of the House after Paul Ryan.
Strauss died in 2005 and was part of The Ohio State University faculty from 1978-1998, during which time DiSabato claims that “a minimum of 1,500/2,000 athletes” were assaulted.