Former Ohio State Wrestler Backs Off Comments That Jim Jordan Knew About Abuse

Aug 10, 2018

Former UFC champion and Ohio State University wrestler Mark Coleman says his comments about whether Republican Rep. Jim Jordan knew about alleged sexual misconduct by a former university doctor were not accurate or were misconstrued. Coleman says he has no direct knowledge about what Jordan knew at the time.

Coleman also says he is one of the victims of Richard Strauss, the now-dead former athletic department doctor who's been accused of sexual misconduct by more than 100 former students.

Coleman released a statement Thursday saying he wants to cooperate with investigators. The statement was released by Shirley & Banister, a conservative public relations firm that's worked with Jordan since his name was connected to the Strauss investigation.

Coleman says he never saw or has any direct knowledge that Jordan knew about the sexual misconduct when he was an assistant coach at Ohio State from 1987 to 1995.

That's in sharp contrast to last month, when The Wall Street Journal quoted Coleman as saying “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. I have nothing but respect for this man, I love this man, but he knew as far as I’m concerned.”

Coleman wrestled for Ohio State in the late 1980s and later was an assistant coach there. He went on to wrestle in the 1992 Olympics and became UFC's first heavyweight champion in 1997.

Jordan has denied some wrestlers' claims that he was aware of the doctor's abuse. He recently announced that he's running for Speaker of the House.