Female Athletic Trainer Preyed on HS Football Players

The daughter of a California high school football coaching icon has been accused of sexually abusing several football players between 2002 and 2006, when she was the trainer for the team.

A recently-filed lawsuit obtained by PEOPLE alleges Tiffany Strauss-Gordon abused six varsity football players while she was the trainer at Colton High School.

Strauss-Gordon is the daughter of the late Harold Strauss, who, for years, served as the head coach for the school’s Yellowjackets football team.

Strauss-Gordon, who has not been criminally charged, began working for the district around 2001. She was most recently the athletic director at Grand Terrace High School.

The Los Angeles Times reports that school officials in Grand Terrace confirmed Strauss-Gordon was on a leave of absence.

The lawsuit further alleges that Strauss, other players, their parents, and officials at Colton High School were all aware of the “special treatment” Strauss-Gordon is alleged to have extended to the team’s star players, but looked the other way. PEOPLE reached out to the school and did not immediately receive a response.

The suit alleges that Strauss-Gordon performed oral sex and had sexual intercourse with the players — a practice students had dubbed “getting spatted,” referencing the way trainers tape a football player’s shoes to prevent ankle sprains.

The six players, all in their 30s now, were between the ages of 14 and 17 at the time of the alleged abuse.

The lawsuit alleges the abuse unfolded inside the varsity players’ locker room as well as in training rooms, weight rooms, classrooms, bathrooms, homes and in vans to football-related events.

Additionally, the lawsuit alleges students widely shared a picture allegedly depicting Strauss-Gordon performing oral sex on one of the team’s coaches.

One of the plaintiffs, identified as “John Doe 7044,” alleges in the suit that Strauss-Gordon specifically targeted him and the other alleged victims because they were from low income families, and often needed rides or food money.

“I think the fact that we were a bunch of poor kids, nobody had the thought to protect us outside the football field,” he said, according to the suit.

Paul Wallin, one of the attorneys retained by Strauss-Gordon in the event she faces criminal charges, spoke to the Los Angeles Times.

“Our client has no criminal record of any nature and has been athletic director involved with students for over two decades with no allegations of wrongdoing ever been brought in all that time by any student,” Wallin told the paper.

PEOPLE was unable to reach Strauss-Gordon for comment Thursday.

2 thoughts on “Female Athletic Trainer Preyed on HS Football Players

  1. I bet those guys hands were sore everyday for all the high fives they were giving each other and although they protest now, they probably enjoyed every minute of it at the time the acts were being performed.

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