Fifteen former wrestlers from The Ohio State University are now defending former Freedom Caucus Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) against accusations that he knew about sexual abuse and didn’t act.
The accusations, now decades old, come at a convenient time as Jordan is considering a run for Speaker of the House. The former students’ comments were collected in a press release and posted on a website, “Stand with Jim Jordan,” which is run by Shirley & Banister, the PR firm Jordan recently hired. (RELATED: Rep. Jim Jordan Announces Bid For Speaker of the House).
Fourteen wrestlers are using their real names, while one has chosen to remain anonymous. Here is a sample of the powerful testimony shared about their former wrestling coach Jim Jordan:
“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)
“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)
And as many are assuming, this news is likely all about politics and money…
“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.
These wrestlers join six former OSU coaches who are coming to Jordan’s defense. Former OSU head coach Russ Hellickson said he was “pissed off at what they are doing to Jim Jordan.”
Some of the wrestlers defended Jordan but agreed Strauss committed transgressions. Unfortunately, no matter the truth, the damage to Jordan’s reputation has been accomplished. The allegations happened so long ago that Jordan’s opponents can use them against him for the rest of his time in Congress.
Jordan, a conservative champion, and defender of President Trump, just learned what happens when you try to drain the swamp.
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