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Ohio State offering counseling to alumni alleging abuse by former university doctor

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio State is offering to help provide free counseling services through outside providers for the 150-plus alumni who say they experienced sexual misconduct by a university team doctor decades ago.

Praesidium, a company that has experience in responding to incidents of sexual abuse, will help alumni access counseling that is needed due to the conduct of the late Dr. Richard Strauss, and no contact with the university is required, according to a letter the university said was sent Friday to over 115,000 alumni from Strauss' era.

Those who already pursued such counseling because of encounters with Strauss can seek further resources through Praesidium, the letter from President Michael Drake said.

Dozens of plaintiffs in two related lawsuits allege Ohio State ignored or failed to stop sexual misconduct by Strauss. Attorneys for those men said the offer of counseling is a positive step but decades late.

"These guys had to live the last few decades with the harm that was done by Strauss,'' said Stephen Estey, one of the lawyers handling a class-action complaint against OSU.

Scott Elliot Smith, an attorney in the other lawsuit, called it "disingenuous'' that Ohio State "is just now acknowledging the impact and long-term effect of the trauma its indifference has caused to so many men.''