Report: Several Ohio State Football Players Abused by Masseuse
According to a report by The Ohio State University Thursday, the institution “investigated an independent massage therapist who engaged in inappropriate and exploitative behavior targeting members of the Ohio State football team.” The name of this massage therapist has been redacted from the original report. While the situation is fluid and more details are expected to be released as the story unfolds, the release clarifies that the investigation is complete and that all members of the Ohio State football team willingly participated.
Rumors of this situation arose on Wednesday that this relationship between the massage therapist and the players could have been similar to a scandal within the Louisville basketball team back in 2015. In that case, it was reported that the Cardinals’ basketball team paid for strippers to have sex and dance with recruits and players. Ohio State has denied that this was a business relationship between the individual and Buckeyes players and more so one of coercion and abuse.
In the release, Ohio State clarified that the massage therapist has had her license “permanently revoked.”
The university continues, stating that they have the players’ safety in mind throughout the entire investigation.
“Our first concern and top priority is for the safety and well-being of our student-athletes. Within days of learning of these allegations, the university quickly launched an independent investigation of the matter.”
As for the football program, the release states that “no university or athletic department staff had knowledge of the massage therapist’s activities.” They then claim that the actions of the massage therapist were a “part of a scheme to exploit football student-athletes.”
The release claims that the institution believes that no NCAA rules were broken throughout the situation. “Ohio State does not believe the massage therapist’s actions trigger NCAA rules or form the basis for NCAA violation,” the statement reads. “While no self-reporting is required, Ohio State proactively shared the exploitative behavior with the NCAA, and a report has been made to the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office.”
Ohio State concludes their release by stating that they will be making the official report and any other public records available. In addition, Ohio State has banned the therapist from campus and given her a cease and desist from additional contact with the Buckeyes’ coaches and players.
This situation is not related to a current scandal within The Ohio State University, where over 150 former students, some of who were student-athletes, claim that Richard Strauss, a former athletics and university doctor sexually abused them.
As of 5 p.m., neither the official Ohio State University Twitter nor the football program’s Twitter accounts have made a statement regarding the situation. The official statement can be found here.