Ohio State accuser: Retired wrestling coach asked me to support Jim Jordan

A former Ohio State University wrestler told CNN that retired head wrestling coach Russ Hellickson asked him...

Posted: Aug 10, 2018 12:55 PM
Updated: Aug 10, 2018 12:56 PM

A former Ohio State University wrestler told CNN that retired head wrestling coach Russ Hellickson asked him to support Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, one day after the ex-athlete publicly accused Jordan of knowing about sexual abuse at the university while he served as the team's assistant coach.

Dunyasha Yetts, who wrestled for Ohio State in the early 1990s, first went public with the allegations of abuse at the hands of team doctor Richard Strauss in early July. Yetts says Hellickson called him the next day and it was the first time he had spoken to his former coach since 1994.

Coaches and trainers

Continents and regions

Government and public administration

Government organizations - US

Jim Jordan

Midwestern United States

North America

Ohio

Political Figures - US

Politics

Sports and recreation

The Americas

United States

US Congress

US House of Representatives

Wrestling

More than 100 former students have alleged sexual misconduct by the doctor, who died in 2005.

Yetts said that during their conversation, Hellickson told him that he loved him to death and Hellickson went on to explain that his own wife and kids and Jim Jordan were mad at him.

Yetts said his former coach then said to him, "I want you to know personally that I'm sorry that I'm doing this. I need to come out and make a strong statement to defend Jimmy."

'I will never talk to you again'

"I told him, 'I will never talk to you again if you call me a liar,'" Yetts said in a phone call to CNN detailing his conversation with Hellickson.

Yetts provided text messages to CNN of conversations he said were with Hellickson. CNN has confirmed that these texts did come from Hellickson.

The following are excerpts from the texts obtained by CNN:

In one of the texts CNN saw, Hellickson texted Yetts, whose wife has cancer, on July 4 after their phone conversation, writing, "Your (sic) a special part of my coaching life. I'm sorry you got caught up in this media train. I'm praying for you guys and you (sic) cancer fight. Keep on believing, baby!"

In another July 4 text from Hellickson to Yetts, Hellickson writes, "If you think the story got told wrong about Jim, you could probably write a statement for release that tells your story and corrects what you feel bad about. I can put you in contact with someone who would release it. It might make you feel better?"

Yetts said he didn't feel bad at all about coming forward about the allegation.

Another text to Yetts from Hellickson the next day, urging him not to talk to the media, reads, "Do not talk to any media. People will call you to convince you I said to talk. No no no."

In what Yetts says is a final text from Hellickson, on July 5, Hellickson says: "Keep on believing"

That was a phrase often used by the wrestling team, according to Yetts.

Another accuser, Mike DiSabato, said he also spoke with Hellickson shortly after he went public with allegations of abuse. DiSabato says Hellickson told him he was upset at the way the media was misrepresenting his words, insinuating he knew Strauss was sexually abusing athletes and now felt pressure to put out another statement supporting Jordan.

'Too hands on'

"Russ told me that he was conflicted because Jim was being treated unfairly and it was necessary to put out a statement," said DiSabato. "He wanted me to understand because he knew I didn't agree with him. I told him it wasn't a good idea. It was not my advice for him to put out a statement to support Jim," he added.

Hellickson did put out a public statement of support for Jordan on July 9.

DiSabato had put together a video he gave to OSU and subsequently provided to CNN on which Hellickson talks about Strauss as being "too hands on." He did not make any reference to Rep. Jordan in the video.

In a subsequent text provided to CNN by DiSabato, the former coach wrote on July 10: "I am a victim because no athletes who I cherish told me they were abused by Doc and I was not sharp enough to figure it out myself."

"Any thing I have done or said in the recent past, was because I believe it was the right thing to do."

CNN contacted Jordan's office for a response to the latest reporting. In response, Jordan's spokesperson Ian Fury issued this statement:

"Seven coaches have said exactly what the Congressman said. Many wrestlers have echoed those comments and support for the Congressman. why are they all saying the same thing? Because it's the truth."

When reached by CNN, Hellickson declined to comment.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 27900

Reported Deaths: 1082
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds215239
DeSoto137316
Madison122234
Jones106949
Neshoba96069
Lauderdale88278
Rankin84112
Forrest81442
Scott75015
Harrison7448
Copiah56615
Leake54819
Jackson53316
Holmes52741
Wayne52112
Washington4969
Lee49316
Oktibbeha48624
Yazoo4736
Leflore47249
Lowndes45311
Warren44317
Lincoln43534
Lamar4197
Grenada3805
Monroe36729
Pike36712
Attala35223
Lafayette3524
Newton3289
Sunflower3066
Covington3025
Bolivar27713
Panola2706
Adams26718
Chickasaw25918
Tate2577
Jasper2506
Marion24811
Pontotoc2476
Noxubee2458
Pearl River24432
Winston2435
Clay24210
Claiborne23610
Simpson2303
Smith20611
Clarke20124
Marshall2013
Coahoma1866
Kemper17614
Union1759
Walthall1724
Yalobusha1617
Carroll16011
Lawrence1591
Itawamba1278
Calhoun1244
Humphreys1239
Tippah12311
Webster12310
Montgomery1222
Hancock12013
Jefferson Davis1064
Tallahatchie1043
Prentiss983
Greene927
Jefferson923
Wilkinson919
Tunica893
Amite822
George743
Choctaw714
Quitman680
Tishomingo681
Perry614
Alcorn561
Stone521
Franklin382
Benton270
Sharkey240
Issaquena71
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 38442

Reported Deaths: 947
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson4387142
Montgomery383999
Mobile3697134
Tuscaloosa204938
Marshall153710
Lee118937
Shelby108223
Madison10577
Morgan9813
Walker86723
Franklin85213
Dallas8198
Elmore81314
Baldwin6869
Etowah62513
Butler60427
DeKalb6025
Chambers58127
Tallapoosa56369
Autauga54511
Unassigned52025
Russell4840
Lowndes45820
Lauderdale4446
Houston4344
Limestone4090
Cullman4003
Pike3995
Colbert3685
Bullock3629
Coffee3532
Barbour3231
Covington3087
St. Clair3042
Hale29321
Marengo28611
Wilcox2808
Sumter27612
Calhoun2705
Talladega2677
Clarke2665
Escambia2636
Dale2440
Jackson2382
Winston2333
Blount2141
Chilton2112
Pickens2116
Marion20312
Monroe1972
Choctaw19212
Conecuh1804
Bibb1711
Macon1708
Randolph1709
Greene1667
Perry1451
Henry1303
Crenshaw1233
Lawrence1010
Washington1007
Cherokee747
Lamar711
Fayette671
Geneva670
Clay582
Coosa551
Cleburne291
Out of AL00
Tupelo
Scattered Clouds
81° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 74°
Feels Like: 85°
Columbus
Overcast
73° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 73°
Feels Like: 73°
Oxford
Scattered Clouds
84° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 73°
Feels Like: 92°
Starkville
Scattered Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 72°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather