Two former Ohio State wrestlers claim coach asked them to walk back Jim Jordan accusations

It certainly has not been a great summer for the Ohio State athletics department. While the football program is in the midst of an investigation into Urban Meyer's knowledge of a domestic abuse claim against a former coach, the university's wrestling program is also embroiled in its own scandal

Over 100 students have come forward and reported to Ohio State that former university doctor Richard Strauss, who killed himself in 2005, sexually abused them while he was employed by the school. That story has picked up traction in the wake of the Larry Nassar scandal at Michigan State, especially since a former wrestling coach, Jim Jordan, is running for speaker of the House of Representatives. Multiple former wrestlers have claimed that Jordan knew of the sexual abuse and did nothing to stop it. 

Now, according to a new report from NBC News, two of those wrestlers are also saying that former OSU wrestling coach Russ Hellickson has contacted them and asked them to walk back their accusations against Jordan. Hellickson also reportedly told the athletes that he could help them release a statement in support of Jordan.

One of the wrestlers, Dunyasha Yetts, shared the text messages that Hellickson sent to him.

"I'm sorry you got caught up in the media train," Hellickson wrote in a July 4 text to Dunyasha Yetts that the former wrestler shared with NBC News. "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."
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"Do not talk to any media. People will call you to convince you I said to talk. No no no."

Yetts also said that Hellickson called him to discuss the pressure to defend Jordan.

"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.'" 

Another wrestler, Mike DiSabato, says that Hellickson similarly reached out to him. However, DiSabato would not give permission to make the texts public "out of loyalty to his old coach"

Hellickson, 70, is a former Olympic wrestler -- he won a silver medal in the Freestyle Heavyweight competition in 1976 -- who was the head coach at OSU from 1986-2006. 

Pete Blackburn is from Boston, so there's a good chance you don't like him already. He has been a writer at CBS Sports since 2017 and usually aims to take a humorous and light-hearted approach to the often... Full Bio

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