Department of Education launches investigation into OSU sexual abuse allegations
Ohio State University announced Thursday that the Department of Education launched an investigation into whether it responded properly to allegations a doctor employed by the university sexually abused student athletes.
“We welcome the involvement and careful oversight of [DOE’s office for civil rights] and look forward to providing any information we can,” Gates Garrity-Rokous, vice president and chief compliance officer for Ohio State, said in a statement.
“We responded promptly and appropriately to the allegations received in April about Dr. [Richard] Strauss. We are confident in the independence and thoroughness of the investigation we launched then as well as our ongoing commitment to transparency.”
The allegations that Strauss acted inappropriately reached the halls of Congress after a group of former wrestlers claimed Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) — a leader in the House Freedom Caucus who is seeking to be the next Speaker of the House — turned a blind eye to abuse during his tenure as an assistant coach there more than two decades ago.
Jordan has repeatedly denied the accusations, asserting he hadn’t heard of any abuse or had any acts of misconduct reported to him.
A number of wrestlers Jordan coached as well as his GOP colleagues in Congress have come to the Ohio Republican’s defense in the wake of the scandal.
Strauss — who died in 2005 —served as one of the team’s physicians from the mid-1970s through the 1990s.
OSU announced its own internal investigation in April which is expected to continue in addition to the federal probe.