Ohio State Team Doctor Abused 177 Men, School Leaders Knew: Report

An Ohio State team doctor sexually abused at least 177 men during his nearly 20 years at the school from 1979 to 1997, the university said Friday as it released findings from a law firm that investigated the accusations. The investigation also concluded that school leaders knew about the abuse at the time. Richard Strauss, who died by suicide in 2005, was the team doctor for over 16 sports at the school. His accusers who have spoken publicly said they were groped and inappropriately touched during physical exams for the teams, and while he worked at the student health center and his off-campus clinic. Some said he also ogled them in locker rooms, where athletes joked about Strauss’ behavior, referring to him as “Dr. Jelly Paws.”

Victims allege that more than 20 school officials and staff members—including two athletic directors and Jim Jordan, a former coach who is now a Republican congressman—were aware of concerns about Strauss, but did nothing to stop him. In releasing the report, Ohio State President Michael Drake said he has “profound regret” and offered “sincere apologies to each person who endured Strauss’ abuse.” Drake called it a “fundamental failure” of the institution and thanked survivors for their courage. The university has begun the process of revoking Strauss’ emeritus status.