A former Ohio State University wrestler has changed his story about what he believes Republican Rep. Jim Jordan knew about sexual abuse allegations lobbied against a university physician when he coached wrestling at the school decades ago.

Mark Coleman, a former MMA fighter who wrestled for Ohio State, said he has nothing but respect for Jordan and claims he never said the congressman had knowledge of the matter.

To the contrary, Coleman made it very clear in his initial statements that Jordan had to have known what was going on, even suggesting a mental impairment would be involved if he didn’t.

“There’s no way unless he’s got dementia or something that he’s got no recollection of what was going on at Ohio State,” he told the Wall Street Journal in July.

“I have nothing but respect for this man, I love this man, but he knew as far as I’m concerned.”

That’s pretty definitive.

Now, however, he’s suggesting that isn’t the case.

 

Coleman changed his tune, issuing a strongly worded statement that he never meant to suggest Jordan had knowledge of the improper behavior.

“At no time did I ever say or have any direct knowledge that Jim Jordan knew of Dr. Richard Strauss’s inappropriate behavior,” he insisted.

“I have nothing but respect for Jim Jordan as I have known him for more than 30 years and know him to be of impeccable character.”

“I don’t know of anyone ever reporting it to Jim Jordan directly,” he stated.

 

It certainly is huge news for Jordan, as many believed the timing of the allegations – coinciding with his announcement that he was planning to run for Speaker of the House – was suspicious in the first place.

It was an explosive story that had the potential to derail any run for the former Freedom Caucus Chairman.

Comedian Trevor Noah even went so far as to attack Jordan on “The Daily Show” by calling him a “scumbag” who is “basically Joe Paterno part two.”

Shortly after the accusations arose, 15 former wrestlers came forward to defend Jordan with one saying his “character is beyond reproach” and adding he “is one of the most honest, truthful and forthright men I have ever met.”

Jordan, for his part, has vehemently denied knowing about the alleged abuse and said he would have taken action had he known.

Coleman meanwhile made a statement which could reflect the majority of those who made these accusations against Jordan.

“Maybe I spoke without thinking,” he said.