Former Ohio State University Wrestlers Sue School For Ignoring Team Doctor's Sexual Misconduct

By John Carlo A. Villaruel
on Jul 18, 2018 09:19 AM EDT
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Four former wrestlers took their accusations against Ohio State University a notch higher as they filed a federal class-action lawsuit on Monday in Columbus.

According to the lawsuit, the university administrators knew that team Dr. Richard Strauss allegedly abused athletes, more than 20 years ago but did nothing to do it. The lawsuit added that during routine medical examinations, male athletes that are involved in 14 sports are subject to excessive touching and groping. 

The legal team added that Strauss molested or harassed more than 2,000 male students during his stint with the Buckeyes. In addition, the lawsuit is also asking for unspecified damages as well as an injunctive order that would protect the future student-athletes.

"Ohio State remains committed to uncovering what may have happened and what university leaders at the time may have known," the university said.

The lawsuit added that Ohio State allowed Strauss to retire quietly without facing disciplinary action. It can be recalled that the university held a hearing to hear out the allegations against Strauss in 1997.

Jordan Not Mentioned In Lawsuit

On the other hand, Ohio Representative Jim Jordan who was an erstwhile assistant wrestling coach of Ohio State was not mentioned in the complaint. It can be brought to mind that Jordan was accused by six former wrestlers for turning a blind eye to the sexual advances of Strauss.

Former wrestler Dunyasha Yetts said that he informed Jordan of the sexual abuse of Strauss but the former coach did nothing. The account of Yetts was later corroborated by Shawn Dailey who also wrestled for Ohio State.

The other wrestlers added that Jordan must have known of Strauss' inappropriate behavior most especially since the doctor's abuse of students was discussed regularly in the locker room. Nonetheless, Steve Estey, who is one of the four attorneys for the former athletes who filed the lawsuit, is confident that Jordan will be called as a witness in the trial.

Not Only Athletes

Former student Steve Snyder-Hill have also stepped forward and told his story after being examined by Strauss. Synder-Hill recalled that he went to the health center after suffering a lump on his chest but Strauss also conducted a genital exam and pressed himself into him.

Synder-Hill tried to file a complaint against Strauss but officials told him that the doctor denied having an erection, citing that he was just doing his job. The family of Strauss released a statement, stating that they were saddened and shocked by the accusations.

Strauss was hired by Ohio State in 1978 and left the school as a professor in 1998. He moved to California thereafter wherein he killed himself in 2005 at the age of 67.

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