Jim Jordan and his cabal of enablers has now widened to include former OSU wrestling coach Russ Hellickson, who reached out to at least two of the accusers to encourage them to recant their stories about Jordan failing to act on their reports of sexual abuse by the team doctor.
NBC News has the story and screengrabs of the text messages:
Yetts said Hellickson also called him later on July 4 and said he was under pressure from Jordan, who was an assistant wrestling coach at the university from 1986 to 1994, and from Jordan's supporters to make “a bold statement to defend Jimmy.”
“He said, 'I will defend Jimmy until I have to put my hand on a Bible and be asked to tell the truth, then Jimmy will be on his own,'” Yetts said in an interview this week, recalling his conversation with Hellickson. “I told him, 'I’m going to contradict you, coach, because I’m telling the truth.'”
Mike DiSabato, the former Ohio State wrestler whose whistleblowing spurred the university's investigation into the alleged abuse by Strauss, also shared a text message defending Jordan that he got from Hellickson. Out of loyalty to his old coach, he asked that NBC News not quote directly from it.
“He called me after the story broke, too,” DiSabato said of Hellickson. “He said Jimmy was telling him he had to make a statement supporting him and he called to tell me why he was going to make it. “
In the text messages, Yetts tells Hellickson that not only did he tell people about the abuse, but people overheard him doing it, as well as relating stories of people having sex in the wrestling room.
Hellickson responded by telling Yetts, "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.”
A later text message on July 5th was plainer, shorter and to the point. "Do not talk to any media," Hellickson wrote. "People will call you to convince you I said to talk. No no no."
And still, through all the machinations, this is a true thing: Wrestlers were sexually abused by the team doctor, that abuse was reported to Jordan, and he did not do anything about it. Nothing.