Jordan Accused of ‘Word Games’ on Ohio State Wrestling Sexual-Abuse Scandal | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey

Ohio GOP congressman Jim Jordan won the backing of a majority of the House GOP conference to become speaker and intends to force a floor vote on Tuesday, even if he doesn’t have commitments necessary to be elected on a first ballot, in the hopes of grinding out a victory as Kevin McCarthy did in January.

One big question hanging over Jordan’s candidacy involves allegations from multiple former Ohio State wrestlers who say that Jordan, while a coach at the university, failed to protect them from a sexually abusive team doctor named Richard Strauss.

“Four of the former Ohio State University wrestlers who have accused Rep. Jim Jordan of failing to protect them from a sexual predator when he was the team’s assistant coach in the 1980s and ’90s said [on October 10] he has no business being the next speaker of the House,” NBC News reported.

The Ohio State scandal, which echoes the Larry Nasser scandal at Michigan State, involved Strauss’s frequent fondling of male athletes’ genitals under the guise of medically unnecessary examinations for hernias. Former OSU wrestler Mike Schyck, who is involved in an ongoing lawsuit against Ohio State, said that then–assistant coach Jim Jordan’s “locker was just a few spots away from mine and mine was near Dr. Strauss. . . . And we were always talking about Dr. Strauss. There’s no way he didn’t know what was going on.”

Jordan’s spokesman, Russell Dye, told NBC: “Chairman Jordan never saw or heard of any abuse, and if he had, he would have dealt with it.” But one former Ohio State wrestler accused Jordan of playing “word games.” From the NBC News report: 

Another former OSU wrestler, who has only been identified as John Doe in the latest lawsuit against the university, said he believes Jordan “is qualified for the position” but was reluctant to endorse him.

“My problem with Jimmy is that he has been playing with words instead of supporting us,” Doe said. “None of us used the words ‘sexual abuse’ when we talked about what Doc Strauss was doing to us, we just knew it was weird and Jimmy knew about it because we talked about it all the time in the locker room, at practices, everywhere.”

I reached out to Dye on Monday to ask about the wrestler’s claim that Jordan was playing word games.

Did Jordan, as a coach, ever hear Ohio State wrestlers complain about examinations performed by the team doctor that made them uncomfortable? “Chairman Jordan never saw or heard of any abuse, and if he had, he would have dealt with it,” Dye replied in an email. 

But, I asked in a follow-up, did Jordan ever hear wrestlers complain about the frequency or duration of the team doctor’s “hernia checks”? Even if the wrestlers themselves didn’t describe it as sexual abuse? “Chairman Jordan never saw or heard of any abuse, and if he had, he would have dealt with it,” Dye replied.

NBC reports that a lawyer representing former OSU wrestlers “plans to depose Jordan and have him testify under oath that he was unaware that Strauss was abusing students.” Jordan would need better answers than his spokesman’s pro forma denial in such a deposition. 

Jordan, as well as rank-and-file House Republicans, will also need better answers when addressing the court of public opinion. When South Carolina congresswoman Nancy Mace, an early backer of Jordan’s speakership bid, was asked on CBS’s Face the Nation about the allegations against Jordan, she replied: “I’m not familiar or aware with that.”

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