Ohio State bans massage therapist for ‘inappropriate, exploitative’ behavior with football team


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USATSI

Ohio State has permanently banned an independent massage therapist — and the State of Ohio Medical Board has permanently revoked her license — after an investigation revealed that she engaged in “inappropriate and exploitative behavior” targeting members of the football team. The unnamed therapist will no longer be allowed on campus or at locations where students reside. The school also served her with a cease and desist order regarding any additional contact with students, coaches or staff.

The report released by Ohio State states that the 41-year-old therapist, who lives roughly two hours from campus, used social media to offer massages to Buckeyes football players by saying that she owned a legitimate massage therapy business. The investigation found that she had intended to engage in sexual encounters with football players. This behavior occurred 2018-21, mostly in off-campus residences and hotels. She did not extort the football players or participate in any form of financial coercion. 

“Our first concern and top priority is for the safety and well-being of our student-athletes,” Ohio State University said in a statement. “Within days of learning of these allegations, the university quickly launched an independent investigation of the matter. An experienced legal and compliance resource, Barnes & Thornburg, led the independent investigation, and has completed its work. Barnes & Thornburg found that no university or athletic department staff had knowledge of the massage therapist’s activities. Her actions were part of a scheme to exploit football student-athletes and were in violation of her state license.”

The investigation, which began in March, did not find evidence of NCAA violations. As a result, the athletic department will make all information related to the exploitative behavior available. The school also announced that it has filed a report to the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office regarding the incidents. 

“For transparency, we are making the report and any associated public records available at this time,” OSU said. “All student-athletes on the football team, along with coaches and staff, participated in this process.”

Ohio State interviewed 117 current and former football players in the investigation, 34 of whom said that they knew of her — mostly through social media. Twenty football players told investigators that they only received massages and five players acknowledged that they engaged in sexual activities with the therapist. 





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