Ohio State University will pay about $41 million to settle a dozen lawsuits by 162 men alleging decades-old sexual abuse and mistreatment by a team doctor, Richard Strauss.
About 350 former athletes and other men had sued the school for failing to stop the late doctor despite concerns raised during his tenure. The university first announced a settlement with some of them in March, but the cost wasn’t made public until Friday.
“The university of decades ago failed these individuals – our students, alumni and members of the Buckeye community,” university President Michael V. Drake said in a written statement. “Nothing can undo the wrongs of the past, but we must do what we can today to work toward restorative justice.”
A special overseer independent of the university is expected to help allocate varying payments to the men based on their experiences and the harm done, aided by a three-person panel of experts evaluating claims.
“The process will account for wide variations in abuse and provide a pathway for survivor healing,” Richard Schulte, one of the lawyers for the men, said in the university’s statement.
The school agreed to pay up to $500,000 for the costs of administering the $40.9 million settlement fund. The money will come from Ohio State’s discretionary funding, not tuition or taxpayer or donor money, according to the university.