Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan denied allegations that he ignored reports of sexual abuse while he was an assistant coach at Ohio State University more than two decades ago in an interview with Politico on Tuesday night.
“It’s not true,” Jordan said in his first interview since three former Ohio State wrestlers leveled the accusations in an interview with NBC News. “I never knew about any type of abuse. If I did, I would have done something about it. And look, if there are people who are abused, then that’s terrible and we want justice to happen.”
The wrestlers allege that Jordan, who served as an assistant coach at the university between 1986 and 1994, turned a blind eye to the behavior of a former team trainer, Dr. Richard Strauss. The men said that it was “common knowledge” that Strauss behaved inappropriately with students, touching and regularly showering with them.
One of the former athletes, Dunyasha Yetts, said he told Jordan personally about the physician’s behavior after Strauss allegedly tried to pull down the wrestler’s shorts during an examination for a thumb injury.
“I’m like, what the f**k are you doing? And I went out and told [the former head coach] and Jim what happened. I was not having it. They went in and talked to Strauss,” Yetts told NBC. “For God’s sake, Strauss’s locker was right next to Jordan’s and Jordan even said he’d kill him if he tried anything with him.”
Strauss, who worked at Ohio State from the mid-1970s to the late 1990s, died in 2005. The university opened an investigation into his behavior in April.
Jordan, a powerful Republican whose name has been brought up as a possible replacement for House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), told Politico he wasn’t worried about the allegations and that he had the “truth on our side.”
Read the full story at Politico.