The Cleveland-area massage therapist who was accused by Ohio State of targeting football players for sexual encounters publicly denied the allegations this week.
Robyn Bassani, 41, said in an interview with Cleveland’s FM-WMMS that while she had sexual relationships with two Ohio State football players, she was not “acting for her own sexual gratification” as a report released by the university alleged, USA Today reports.
Bassani said she would end the client-masseuse relationship if a sexual relationship began.
“Most of the players that I worked with, the vast majority, I didn’t have to reach out to,” she said in the radio interview. “They reached out to me via a referral program I was running. As far as the university saying I was targeting these young men, to me, it feels like their way of staying in charge of the situation and making me the villain so they could keep their hands clean.”
According to the 15-page report released Thursday, Bassani had consensual sex with five football players, but she said it was only two players. The report states none were minors, and 20 other players reported having received non-sexual massages from Bassani.
No NCAA violations occurred, and no crimes were committed. Bassani said she would drive from Cleveland to an apartment complex where most players lived, and go from apartment to apartment for scheduled appointments.
“There have been numerous players since this report was released who said, ‘What the hell?’” she said. “Everybody is very confused on this report because the players know that’s not me.”
She said she surrendered her license on March 30 as part of the investigation that was started by a complaint filed March 14, 2020, with the Medical Board of Ohio, USA Today reports.
The investigation included 117 former and current players, 44 coaches and staff members and Bassani.
“I was told by the investigator for the Ohio State Board that if I didn’t (surrender my license), then I would be subject to a citation and then a hearing in which the players would be individually subpoenaed to testify in open public record,” she said. “Not wanting to put them through that, I said, ‘OK, I’ll surrender it.’ [They] had assured me if I do this quietly and quickly then I could spare them the scandal or public embarrassment and I did. Obviously, that was a lie.”