According to the Hollywood Reporter, George Clooney and Smokehouse Pictures will produce a docuseries about the sexual abuse scandal in the athletic department at Ohio State University — a scandal that put a spotlight on former assistant wrestling coach Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH).
The series, which hasn’t found an outlet yet, is based on an October 2020 Sports Illustrated story by Jon Wertheim, which detailed a long list of allegations against former Ohio State sports doctor Richard Strauss and university officials’ lack of response.
“This article uncovers the most widespread sexual abuse scandal in the history of American higher education. It is a story about power, abuse, enabling and the hierarchy of college sports that had been concealed for far too long,” said Wertheim, who will be an executive producer of the series. “Because these courageous men made the decision to remain silent no longer, we can finally begin to hold the abuser, and those who were complicit in their silence, accountable for their actions — and inactions. With the help of 101 Studios, [SI owner] Authentic Brands Group and Smokehouse Pictures, their voices and stories — harrowing as they are — will be amplified.”
Wertheim’s story includes an account from former Ohio State wrestler (and UFC champion) Mark Coleman about Strauss’ alleged sexual abuse and administration of steroids to athletes. Coleman also alleges that Rep. Jim Jordan, then an Ohio State assistant wrestling coach and now a U.S. congressman, knowingly ignored Strauss’ abuse.
HuffPost also reports:
The university said in its annual crime report in 2019 that Strauss committed at least 1,429 sexual assaults and 47 rapes during his 20-year tenure. Strauss was never charged and died by suicide in 2005.
The docuseries can’t be welcome news for Jordan, who was the assistant coach of the wrestling team at Ohio State from 1987 to 1995. At least three athletes and a referee have alleged they discussed the abuse directly with Jordan, but that he took no action to stop it. Jordan has denied he was told of any abuse or knew of it.