The investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against former Ohio State University team physician Dr. Richard Strauss has seen the independent investigators at Perkins Coie LLP interview athletes from 14 different sports, as well as other students at Ohio State, University Provost Bruce McPheron said during the Audit & Compliance Committee meeting Thursday.
Though most of the investigation is in relation to his time at Ohio State, allegations have come forward about a private practice Strauss ran during the end of and after his tenure at the University.
Once he retired from the university Strauss was not finished with his medical practice. While still at Ohio State, Strauss practiced privately off-site in the city of Columbus, creating a corporation called Richard H. Strauss, M.D., Inc. on Aug. 19, 1996, according to business filing documents from the Ohio secretary of state. He operated this company until the documents show he dissolved it on Aug. 27, 1998.
McPheron said at this corporation, there were additional acts of sexual misconduct alleged to have occurred.
The investigators are still trying to determine if the university had knowledge of the allegations against Strauss, McPheron said.
The investigators also found that Strauss began his employment at Ohio State as an attending physician at University Hospital on Sept. 1, 1978. He became a team physician in athletics on July 1, 1981 and held the post until June 30, 1995, McPheron said. He also was a part-time physician in student health services from July 1, 1994 until August 7, 1996.
Strauss remained on the medical staff until his retirement on Dec. 31, 1994, though he remained a professor emeritus at the university until he retired on July 1, 1998, McPheron added.
In trying to obtain more information about these allegations against Strauss, Perkins Coie has “conducted or scheduled over 130 interviews with individuals who may have information relevant to the investigation,” McPheron said. He said most of the individuals are former student athletes treated or examined by Strauss during his time as a team physician.
Athletes from 14 different sports — wrestling, swimming, cheerleading, volleyball, lacrosse, gymnastics, ice hockey, football, fencing, soccer, baseball, tennis, track and cross county — have been interviewed by investigators, as have non-athletes who were treated by Strauss during his time as a part-time physician in student health services, McPheron said.
According to his medical license obtained from the State Medical Board of Ohio, Strauss was issued his medical license on July 11, 1978 with a listed expiration date of Sept. 30, 1998. There was never any action taken against him by the Board.
McPheron said the investigation has proved challenging because many of the records have either been “archived or even destroyed in the ordinary course of business” and that most of the employees at Ohio State during the time of these allegations are no longer with the university. Given these challenges, he said it is too early to say when the investigation will be over or what will come of it.
The investigation into these allegations began on April 5 when Ohio State announced it had learned from former athletes of the acts.
The University had announced on May 3 the Ohio Attorney General’s Office had appointed Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP to be legal counsel for Ohio State. Porter Wright hired Perkins Coie to conduct the independent investigation.
Ohio State has said anyone with information relating to Strauss or the investigation should contact investigators at firstname.lastname@example.org.