Like many Americans, when I saw last week’s headlines about my friend, U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), I couldn’t believe them. The accusations did not describe the man of character and courage I’ve known for more than a decade. When I read the actual stories under those headlines, my reaction turned from dread to outrage. Jordan isn’t being accused; he’s being railroaded.
Jordan, as you may know, was a two-time NCAA Division I national champion wrestler. After graduating from college, he became an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State University, from 1986 to 1994. This was during the decades-long career of the now deceased OSU doctor Richard Strauss, who has now been accused of sexual abuse by former OSU athletes. The university just launched an investigation in April of the claims that date back three decades.
Some of the former wrestlers, including two with criminal pasts, are now accusing Jordan of knowingly turning a blind eye to Strauss’s alleged abusive behavior. One is a serial litigant who has made wild accusations not only against Jordan, but Jordan’s brother and nephews as well, also wrestlers.
Jordan categorically denies the allegations, stating on Fox News last week: “I never saw, never heard of, never was told about any kind of abuse. If I did I would have dealt with it. A good coach puts the interests of his student-athletes first.”
Former Wrestlers Stand Up for Jim Jordan’s Integrity
Amidst the sudden allegations, numerous former OSU wrestlers are coming forward to back Jordan and questioning the motivations for the charges.
“There’s a lot more of us who are standing by (Jordan) than those who are accusing him of not acting,’’ former OSU wrestler Dan George told The Asbury Park Press. “I’m devastated by what I’ve heard. My heart goes out to anyone who was abused in any way. But Jim Jordan is a tremendous human being who has always lived his life beyond reproach. If he had any knowledge of any misconduct, he would deal with it. There’s no question in my mind.’’