In the wake of decades-old abuse allegations against a former team doctor, Ohio State is pledging to provide free counseling services to victims.
The Associated Press reports that the school is working with a company called Praesidium to help victims of the now deceased Dr. Richard Strauss. Praesidium will help alums who were allegedly groped or otherwise made victims of sexual misconduct during the period of 1979 to 1997, during Strauss’ tenure at Ohio State. Male athletes from at least 16 sports, as well as patrons at his off-campus medical office and the student health center are all involved in the allegations.
Meanwhile, in two ongoing lawsuits against Ohio State, dozens of plaintiffs have claimed that the school ignored or failed to stop Strauss’ sexual misconduct. Attorneys for those plaintiffs have applauded the offer of counseling, while also saying it’s too little, too late.
“These guys had to live the last few decades with the harm that was done by Strauss,” Stephen Estey, a lawyer in a class-action suit against Ohio State told the AP.
Scott Elliot Smith, a lawyer in the other lawsuit, called the offer of counseling “disingenuous,” and said that the school “is just now acknowledging the impact and long-term effect of the trauma its indifference has caused to so many men.”
For its part, the university said in a statement that its goal since the first of Strauss’ victims came forward last spring has been “to lift up and support our community while we pursue the truth.”