I have known Congressman Jim Jordan for the a decade. I have not spent inordinate amounts of time with him, but have spent a good bit of time with him. I think very highly of him. I do not know the Jim Jordan of the early 90’s, but I know the Jim Jordan of now.
Jordan is currently tied to a scandal at Ohio State University, where allegations have surfaced about sexual abuse in the athletic program, including the wrestling program where Jordan served as an assistant coach in the nineties.
For what I know of press reports, Jim Jordan is not accused of doing anything inappropriate toward young men. Several of the young men have specifically said they do not blame Jim Jordan. Some have said Jordan should have done something more to protect them than he did.
Three Long Branch High School graduates who were standout wrestlers at Ohio State University in the 1980s say they’re skeptical of claims that Congressman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, knew about, but did not report, alleged sexual misconduct of a team doctor while Jordan was coaching at the school. Dan George and brothers Jude and Andrew Skove said they and other Ohio State wrestling alumni are planning an open letter or other public show of support for Jordan, who has been accused by at least five former Buckeye wrestlers of knowing about alleged sexual abuse by athletic doctor Richard Strauss because it happened regularly and was often discussed.
Jim Jordan denies everything. And in this political environment that is probably, regrettably, the safest play. Several of the young men have said Jim Jordan did chase away creeps. Jordan denies that too.
It is unfortunate that we live in a time where a man who is accused of no wrong doing is forced to even deny having prevented something lest he be dragged further in the mud and mess of a terrible situation. But the reality is that if Jordan were to come forward and say he tried to stop what was happening, he was only the assistant coach, and he’s sorry he didn’t do more at the time, there’d be no grace shown him. There’d be no understanding. There’d only be further calls for his head. There’d be further ignoring that he committed no crime. And there’d be further ignoring that multiple young men have said Jordan did intervene to stop the creeps and pervs or would have had no knowledge of the situation at all.
Alf said that while wrestlers joked about issues like Strauss’s behavior, he doesn’t remember the conversations happening in front of Jordan.
“He’s the most honest person I’ve ever met,” he said of Jordan. “The thing is, if he saw something like that, he wouldn’t have tolerated it. . . . If Jimmy says he didn’t know, I believe him.” Another former wrestler, who asked for anonymity to speak candidly about what happened, said that Jordan was “all business” as a coach and that team members were careful what they said around him. “It’s way more likely that [he] didn’t know than did know,” the former wrestler said. “We were so guarded around these guys. . . . I think the only reason he’s being dragged into it is because of his political stature, and I think that’s terrible.”
Jim Jordan is a good and decent man. He should not resign from Congress.
One addition note here: this information is surfacing due to an ongoing investigation into allegations of sexual abuse in the athletic program at Ohio State University. Jordan served as an assistant wrestling coach. I do not think this is part of some “deep state” attack on Jordan. However, I certainly think the attacks are being magnified by Jordan’s political critics at a time he is both scoring points against the Executive Branch bureaucracy and possibly considering a run for Speaker of the House. The press is, for example, playing down reports of those students defending Jordan. A good example is the Washington Post story linked to above. The headline is “Rep. Jim Jordan faces new accusation that he must have known about alleged sexual abuse at Ohio State” and one must read to the end to find multiple former wrestlers defending Jordan and noting there’s a political motivation to dragging Jordan into this scandal.