ohio state
A general view of Ohio Stadium during the game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Ohio Bobcats on Sept. 6, 2008 in Columbus, Ohio. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

An independent investigation into the activity and abuse reportedly conducted by Dr. Richard Strauss at Ohio State University for nearly 20 years has found that it may not have been much of a secret.

The investigation began in 2018 after Ohio State University received reports of past sexual abuse by Strauss. University administrators then hired law firm Perkins Coie LLP to begin looking into the claims to see if it ran deeper.

In total, investigators spoke to over 400 students and staff about Strauss, who died by suicide in 2005. And the results are damning towards school administrators.

The final report says that coaches and administrators were well aware of claims that Strauss, a team physician, molested male athletes during his tenure at the school. However, according to the findings, no one acted on the information and let Strauss continue to abuse athletes in Ohio State’s varsity sports programs.

It’s believed that Strauss abused at least 177 male athletes during his time at the school.

“Students openly discussed Strauss’ examination methods or complained about his loitering presence in the shower and locker room, including in front of coaches and other Athletics Department staff,” the report reads.

It continues, “Many of the students felt that Strauss’ behavior was an ‘open secret,’ as it appeared to them that their coaches, trainers and other team physicians were fully aware of Strauss’ activities, and yet few seemed inclined to do anything to stop it.”

The report also clarifies that personnel in the athletics division had knowledge of Strauss and his activities going back to 1979. However, this knowledge didn’t go past the Athletic Department until 1996.