Former Ohio State Wrestler Tells House Panel That Jim Jordan Ignored Strauss Abuse

Feb 13, 2020

Another person has accused Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) of ignoring alleged abuse by former Ohio State team doctor Richard Strauss.

Michael DiSabato was one of the first Strauss accusers to bring the case to light two years ago. During an Ohio House committee hearing this week, his brother Adam told representatives that Jordan and other team coaches and administrators dismissed concerns about sexual abuse and created a culture of silence.

"We were told to shut up and not touch anybody that bugged with us. Not just Strauss but the other ones who congregated in the open atmosphere they kept us in," DiSabato said.

DiSabato says Jordan called him and "begged him to go against [his] brother."

Jordan worked as an assistant coach at Ohio State from 1987-1995, during the same time that Strauss was working as a team doctor.

The House commitee is considering a bill that would waive the statute of limitations in the Strauss case, which would allow accusers to sue the university.

"I got inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006," said DiSabato. "I earned it. I fought for this university. This university is not fighting for me. It's your job to fight for me now."

Jordan has repeatedly denied claims that he knew about Strauss' abuse.

In November, a former Ohio State referee claimed in a lawsuit that he reported Strauss's misconduct to Jordan, who subsequently dismissed him. Former UFC champion and Ohio State wrestler Mark Coleman said in 2018 that Jordan was aware of the abuse, but Coleman later backed off his comments.

Jordan was interviewed in July 2018 by the law firm investigating the Strauss allegations on behalf of the university. Multiple former coaching colleagues and ex-athletes have spoken in defense of Jordan.

Ohio State officials report more than 1,500 instances of abuse by Strauss, who worked at the university from 1978-1998. Strauss died by suicide in 2005.