After accusations last week that Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan was aware of and kept quiet about alleged abuse by former Ohio State team doctor Richard Strauss, many players and coaches have come forward to defend the former assistant wrestling coach.
The statements defending Jordan began Monday with a joint statement by six former coaches, including former Ohio State wrestling head coach Russ Hellickson. The defense of Jordan continued with a joint statement by 15 wrestlers on Tuesday and two more on Wednesday.
“I am frankly pissed off at what they are doing to Jim Jordan. This is hysteria and politics running the narrative,” Hellickson told The Hill earlier this week. “If they are attacking him, why aren’t they attacking the 30 or 40 other coaches at OSU?”
Statements being sent out defending Jordan have been put out through the public relations firm Shirley and Bannister, a conservative firm based out of Alexandria, Virginia.
The wrestlers that defended Jordan on Tuesday said the alleged abuse was not as widespread as it is being made to seem, with one telling the Associated Press he knew nothing of any alleged abuse until claims arose this year.
Following the joint statement on Tuesday, two more wrestlers spoke to CNN in defense of Jordan.
One of the wrestlers, George Pardos, told CNN he had many interactions with Strauss and never experienced any attempted abuse.
“If you’re sitting there saying everybody had the same experience with Dr. Strauss, that’s just not true,” Pardos said. “People are trying to assume this was a widespread problem.”