Abuse coverups only worsen victims’ injuries
Attempts to sweep under the rug a sexual abuse scandal involving some U.S. Olympic athletes and others at Michigan State University backfired badly, as they should have. Some officials in both programs have lost their jobs. Some are being investigated for crimes.
The predator, Dr. Larry Nassar, is likely to spend the rest of his life in jail. Those who for many years tolerated his abuse of scores, perhaps hundreds, of athletes also should be punished.
Why did they do it? No doubt some would answer that they did not want to tarnish Michigan State and U.S. Olympics programs. One young woman was told that directly at the university. The harm being done to so many vulnerable young people seems not to have occurred to those who could have stopped Nassar years ago.
Last week, Ohio State University revealed it is investigating allegations against a doctor who worked with members of the school’s wrestling team many years ago. OSU officials said a person has come forward to accuse the late Dr. Richard Strauss, who was with the team from the 1970s through the 1990s, of sexual abuse. Allegedly, there were other victims.
University officials are looking into the allegation. A law firm is conducting an independent probe. The state Bureau of Criminal Investigation may become involved.
Once the investigation is completed, the results will be made public, according to the university.
Good. No one can say what the probe will find. Strauss, obviously, cannot defend himself.
But making the allegation public immediately, then doing all in the university’s power to pursue it, is the correct course. Regardless of where the chips fall, current OSU officials are doing the right thing.