Ohio State Releases Statement on Massage Therapist's Conduct with Football Team

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVMay 13, 2021

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 19: A detail view of the 
Ohio State Buckeyes logo is seen on the back of the medical tent in action during the Big Ten Championship game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Northwestern Wildcats on December 19, 2020 at Lucas Oil stadium, in Indianapolis, IN. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Ohio State University has taken action against an independent massage therapist who an investigation found took part in "exploitative behavior" against members of the football team, the school announced in a statement Thursday:

Tom VanHaaren @TomVH

Ohio State released a statement outlining an investigation into an independent massage therapist who engaged in inappropriate behavior targeting members of the football team. Full release is below. pic.twitter.com/hXtibKzVdM

The State Medical Board of Ohio investigated the therapist "who engaged in inappropriate and exploitative behavior targeting members of the Ohio State football team" and had her license permanently revoked.

The school also banned her from campus, as well as any other locations where students are living.

According to Natasha Anderson of Fox 8, the independent investigation found that the woman offered free massages to initiate consensual sexual interactions with football student-athletes before later demanding payment. These actions took place between 2018 and 2021 in off-campus housing or in hotels.

Ohio State hired the Barnes & Thornburg law firm to conduct an investigation after an initial complaint in March 2020, per Bill Rabinowitz of Buckeye Extra.

The investigation, which was delayed a year until March 2021, reportedly included interviews with 117 current and former players plus 44 staff members. The findings determined 20 received non-sexual massages while five had consensual sex with the therapist.

"Ohio State does not believe the massage therapist’s actions trigger NCAA rules or form the basis for NCAA violations," the school added in its statement.