Ohio State University officials knew that an athletic department doctor was sexually abusing male athletes between 1979 and 1997 but did nothing to prevent it.
Dr. Richard Strauss, an Ohio State team doctor who committed suicide in 2005, sexually abused at least 177 students over a period of decades so wantonly that students described his examinations as hazing - and their coaches, trainers, other team doctors and school leaders knew about it, according to an investigative report released Friday.
Strauss abused the men for nearly his entire time at Ohio State. The episodes described in the report involve male students from at least 16 sports, plus Strauss's work at the student health center and his off-campus clinic, according to findings from a law firm that investigated the accusations, released by the university.
At one point he even appealed to various university officials, both formally and informally, to keep his job - including the office of the president at the time, Gordon Gee.
Gee is now the president at West Virginia University. He says he told investigators at Ohio State that he had no recollection of Strauss. Gee says he has always taken allegations brought to his attention seriously.
Many of the accusers who have spoken publicly said they were groped and inappropriately touched during physical exams. Some also said they were ogled in locker rooms where athletes joked about Strauss' behavior, referring to him with nicknames like 'Dr. Jelly Paws.'
The law firm hired to conduct the investigation for the school interviewed hundreds of former students and university employees.
The report found many of the students thought the doctor's behavior was an 'open secret' and that their coaches, trainers and other team doctors knew about it. The students described the examinations by Strauss as being 'hazed' or going through a 'rite of passage.'
Ohio State officials knew that Richard Strauss, an athletic department doctor, was sexually abusing male athletes between 1979 and 1997 but did nothing to prevent the decades of criminal behavior.