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Richard Strauss Accusers Allowed To Address Ohio State Board Of Trustees

Brian Garrett at his home in Powell, Ohio. Garrett is one of the lead plaintiffs in a lawsuit against Ohio State.
Mike Householder
Associated Press

A group of Ohio State alumni wants to address the Ohio State Board of Trustees next week about the abuse they reported experiencing from a longtime sports doctor. And next Friday, they'll get their chance.

Brian Garrett is one of the former athletes who have alleged misconduct by Dr. Richard Strauss, who worked at the university for over two decades. He requested time for survivors to share their stories with the Board of Trustees when they meet November 15-16.

“I want to look each one of the Board of Trustees in the eye, and I want to tell them what happened to me, and I want them to look back at me,” Garrett says.

Garrett says the group hopes to discuss school policy changes that could prevent abuse, as well as resources the university can offer to abuse survivors.

But he’s also looking for an apology – or at the very least, accountability.

“Let's just start with, ‘Yeah, we dropped the ball. We messed up. We failed to investigate. We failed to report,’” Garrett says.

The university on Friday said it would set aside 20 minutes during next Friday's meeting for Garrett and others to address the Board. Their comment is scheulded for 10 a.m. on November 16.

"The stories so many have shared about Richard Strauss are deeply concerning, and we are grateful for these individuals’ willingness to speak publicly," said Ohio State spokesperson Ben Johnson in an email. "It is important and very much appreciated."

Garrett is also suing the university as part of a class-action lawsuit claiming the school repeatedly ignored concerns about Strauss' abuse. About three dozen former students have joined the suit, which the university has moved to dismiss, arguing the claims fall beyond the statute of limitations.

At least 145 students have come forward alleging misconduct by Strauss, who died by suicide in 2005. An independent investigation, which is being handled by Seattle law firm Perkins-Coie, has cost $1.5 million so far.

Investigators said they hoped to wrap up fact-finding this fall.