Why Aren’t More People Talking About the Ohio State Sex Abuse Scandal?

Enika Vania

The most sweeping sex abuse scandal in the history of American higher education—to say nothing of the history of college sports—played out over nearly 20 years on one of the largest campuses in the country. Most of the survivors were athletes. Most of them didn’t entirely grasp until later in their lives that they had been assaulted and raped. Most of them were like Mark Coleman, whose interactions with Dr. Richard Strauss would create a smog, lingering over his life for decades.

A native of Fremont, Ohio, Coleman was an All-America wrestler at Miami of Ohio before transferring to Ohio State in the fall of 1986 for his senior season. Having played competitive sports his entire life, Coleman had experienced enough preseason athletic physicals to know the minor discomfort they entailed. But he was completely unprepared for what came next as he stood alone in a room with Strauss, then the official doctor for five OSU sports programs and consulting physician for at least 10 others. Strauss asked Coleman to undress and, under the guise of a medical examination, inappropriately touched Coleman. “He examined me pretty good. It was an eye-opener,” Coleman says, pausing. “I don’t want to go further than that.”

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