Columbus, OH – Fifteen Ohio State University wrestlers have come forward to defend Rep. Jim Jordan and repudiate the false claims about what he knew of potential abuse by a team doctor.
The list of wrestlers and their statements follow:
Lenny Schork, (1994)
Rob Archer, (1993-1998)
Cullen Waugh, (1994-1999)
Ferdinand J. Miller (1987-1992)
Jim Picolo (1982-1987)
Andy Stickley (1983-1987)
Rick Burlenski (1989-1994)
Matt Mondalek (1995-1999)
Stephen Mendicino (1983-1986)
George Pardos (1988-1993)
Michael Alf (1988-1992)
Dan George (1984-1988)
Jude Skove (1983-1986)
Andrew Skove (1984-1988)
“While I was a member of the OSU wrestling team, I gained nothing but respect for Coach Jordan and learned a great deal from him about character and the principles of hard work. Not only was he a great wrestler, but I thought him to be great person operating from a high place of integrity as well. I was treated with respect, felt it was a safe environment and I have nothing but fond memories of my interactions with Coach Jordan, other coaches and the team. If there was wrong doing, I hope justice will be served and that anyone affected by any inappropriate behavior is able to find peace in their lives.” – Lenny Schork, Wrestler (1994)
“I am writing in support of Jim Jordan. I wrestled at The Ohio State University for Coach Jordan in the years 1993 to 1998. The allegations that Jim Jordan acted inappropriately are 100% false. Jim Jordan is an ethical, outstanding man.” – Rob Archer, Head Wrestling Coach/Associate Principal, Huntington High School WV (1993–1998)
“I am writing this email in support of Jim Jordan. I wrestled at Ohio State from 1994-1999 when Jim was an assistant coach. I feel that Jim is a very honest and ethical person and always acted in the best interest of our teammates. I feel that trying to make this political in any way devalues even more the people who were personally affected by this.” – Cullen Waugh, Wrestler (1994-1999)
“Thoughts with your family during these times. As a member of OSU wrestling team (1987-92) I stand behind you! We know how the accusers have pissed away millions of dollars and are looking for a quick infusion of money!” – Ferdinand J. Miller, Wrestler (1987–1992)
“I have known Jim Jordan since 1980. We trained together throughout our high school years. I feel compelled to speak up concerning the allegations surrounding the Doctor Strauss situation. I wrestled at Ohio State from 1982 to 1987. During that time Dr. Strauss was our team Doctor. Most of us thought he was a little odd but during my 5 years I can say that I never saw Dr. Strauss do anything inappropriate,”
“Also never was I made aware by any of my teammates that he had done anything inappropriate. My 5th and final year Russ Hellickson was my Head Coach and Jim Jordan one of my assistants. I do not have any knowledge, nor do I believe that they knew of any inappropriate behaviors by Doctor Strauss. Furthermore I do believe, knowing them both as I do, that they would have taken action had they been aware of any abuse.” —Jim Picolo, Wrestler (1982–1987)
“I was a member of the Ohio State University wrestling team from 1983 through 1987. Dr Strauss was our team physician during this time. I never once heard a teammate say that they had been violated by Dr. Strauss. Any accusation that the coaching staff overlooked or turned a blind eye to wrongful actions by him is just wrong. I have known Jim Jordan for 45 years. Not only was Jim a great wrestling coach, but he has also consistently proven to be a man of highest integrity and certainly would not have turned his back on any wrong-doing.” – Andy Stickley, Wrestler (1983–1987)
“I was a member of the Ohio State Wrestling team from 1989 to 1994. Russ Hellickson and Jim Jordan recruited me as a heavyweight. I always felt they looked out for best interest of our team and believe they would have reported any sort of misconduct. I suffered an injury to my leg early in my career and had considerable interaction with Doctor Strauss. He always treated me in a professional manner.” – Rick Burlenski, Wrestler (1989-1994)
“I wrestled at Ohio State from 1995-1999. I absolutely believe that Jim Jordan had zero idea about Dr Strauss’s behavior. Dr Stauss conducted his transgressions behind closed doors and regretfully, I never told anyone except for my father. Jim Jordan is an honorable man that does not deserve this unwarranted attention.” – Matt Mondalek, Wrestler (1995-1999)
“The purpose of this letter is to recognize Jim Jordan’s character as it relates to allegations that he was aware of sexual abuse at The Ohio State University thirty years ago. I was a fourth year wrestler at Ohio State when I first met Jim in the fall of 1986 when he began his coaching career. Jim and I were the same weight so we wrestled a lot together over the course of the
next two years. In fact, my senior year I was selected as a team captain by my teammates. I have maintained a close relationship with Jim and his family over the past thirty years.”
“From the very first day I met Jim, I can say without reservation that Jim’s character is beyond reproach. I have ALWAYS known Jim to “do the right thing” and to live his life according to the strong morals upon which he was raised. As a coach and as a friend, Jim has ALWAYS been a man on which I could depend and provide me with wise counsel for any challenges that I may be trying to work through. He has NEVER demonstrated any lapses of judgement with me and is one of the most honest, truthful and forthright men I have ever met,”
“Please consider my most heart-felt and emphatic endorsement of Jim as he finds himself in a position where he is being forced to defend his credibility and character. You may contact me for additional insight into this matter should you feel it would be beneficial.” – Stephen Mendicino, Wrestler (1983-1986)
“For Jimmy to know that this was going on and not do anything about it, it wouldn’t happen. It’s completely out of character. I’ve had dinner at his house, worked out with him. This didn’t happen,”
“After Larry Nassar, everyone is seeing dollar signs” George Pardos, Wrestler quoted in The Hill.
“There was definitely inappropriate things that in my opinion were pretty disgusting going on all around us. You just took your shower and got out,”
“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.” – Michael Alf, Wrestler (1988-1992) quoted in The Washington Post.
“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.” said one of Rep. Jordan’s former wrestlers who asked for anonymity with The Washington Post.
“I think there’s a lot more of us who are standing by (Jordan) than those who are accusing him of not acting,”
“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.’’ – Dan George, Wrestler (1984-1988) to The Asbury Park Press.
“To me the whole thing is a head-scratcher. Doc Strauss was definitely a weird character. No doubt about that,’’
“But he never overstepped boundaries in my experience. So I’m not sure what Jim Jordan supposedly hushed-up after I left.’’ – Jude Skove, Wrestler (1983-1986) as quoted in The Asbury Park Press.
“I’m not aware of any incidents that could have potentially been covered-up,’’ – Andrew Skove, Wrestler (1984-1988), who said he stands “100 percent’’ in support of Jordan as quoted in The Asbury Park Press.