Bo Schembechler’s Son Says Dad Knew Doctor Abused Athletes


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Matt Schembechler, 62, will speak about “his own abuse by Dr. Anderson and his father’s failure to protect him and other athletes,” attorney Mick Grewal said.

The coach’s son will be joined by two as-yet-unnamed former football players, Daniel Kwiatkowski and Gilvanni Johnson, who were quoted in a report commissioned by UM that found the university received hundreds of allegations about Dr. Robert Anderson — for decades — and failed to act, attorney Mick Grewal said. The ex-players say they also told the coach about Anderson’s abuse, Grewal said.


Bo Schembechler died in 2006, Anderson two years later.

In an interview with ESPN, junior Schembechler says Anderson harassed him during a physical exam in the 1960s when he was 10, and Bo Schembechler, his adoptive father, beat him when he reported the abuse.

“It knocked me all over the kitchen,” he told the sports network.

Last month, the law firm WilmerHale published a: 240 page report Anderson, who worked at the university from 1966 to 2003, was moved from University Health Services to the athletics department in 1981 after Thomas Easthope, assistant vice president of student services, received “credible reports of misconduct” in 1978 or 1979.
A report claims that Dr.  Robert Anderson sexually assaulted athletes from the University of Michigan.

An alleged victim told the firm that Easthope had told him that Anderson would stop seeing patients, but Anderson “continued to provide medical services to student athletes and other patients — and engage in sexual misconduct with large numbers of them” until his retirement. , the report said. Easthope told investigators he had confronted and fired Anderson, “but Mr Easthope did not,” the report said. Easthop passed away in February.

Athletic officials “also heard jokes or rumors about Dr. Anderson’s investigations,” but none of them took steps to investigate, the report said.

“There is no reasonable explanation,” the report concluded, for Easthope’s failure to respond to the “rumors and allusions surrounding Dr. Anderson.”

University apologizes

The report was based on interviews with hundreds of Anderson’s former patients and “approximately 200 current and former university employees, including administrators, faculty and coaches, as well as additional (University Health Services), Athletic Department and Michigan Medicine personnel.”

Kwiatkowski and Johnson are among the sources, and shared anonymously with investigators that they told Bo Schembechler about Anderson’s behavior, Grewal told CNN.

Following the report’s publication, University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel said the university offered? “his sincere apologies for the abuse perpetrated by the late Robert Anderson.”

“We will carefully and diligently review and review the report’s findings, conclusions and recommendations; and we will work to regain the trust of survivors and ensure that we provide a safe environment for our students, our staff and our community,” Schlissel wrote.

The allegations were already similar to those against those Larry Nassar at Michigan State University and Richard Strauss at Ohio State University — doctors accused of abusing their positions to molest students and athletes. Strauss committed suicide in 2005. Nassar is serving up to 175 years in prison after committing criminal sexual conduct.
The addition of Bo Schembechler now draws comparisons to Penn State, where the later coaching icon, Joe Paterno, has faced accusations that he didn’t do anything to Jerry Sandusky, his 30-year-old assistant, sexually abusing boys at team facilities and other locations. A jury found Sandusky guilty on 45 counts of child abuse in 2012. He is serving a straf sentence up to 60 years in prison.

In all three cases, allegations were made that powerful institutions ignored or rejected complaints of sexual misconduct.

Other alleged victims have come forward

Former wrestler Thomas DeLuca attended the University of Michigan in 2018 share a report of alleged abuse by Anderson, who he said, “examined his penis, did a hernia check, and performed a digital rectal exam without explaining why such exams were needed.”

In 1975, he told his coach about the abuse, which had started three years earlier, DeLuca said. He lost his scholarship and was kicked out of the team, he said.

Two more wrestlers, including Olympian Andy Hrovat, sat next to DeLuca at a 2020 press conference, detailing their own allegations of abuse. Former San Francisco 49ers and Indianapolis Colts Safety Dwight Hicks came up with accusations later that year.
Chuck Christian, who played a tight end for the Wolverines in the late 1970s and early 1980s, told CNN in May 2020 that he was also abused by Anderson and that the doctor’s unnecessary rectal exams prevented him from seeing a doctor later in life.
Chuck Christian played a tight end for the Michigan Wolverines from 1977 to 1981.

He is now battling prostate cancer, which he says may have been diagnosed earlier if not because of his fear of doctors. Christian knows of other players who have been victims of Anderson who suffered from ailments because they were afraid to visit doctors, he said.

“He hurt so many people, and the way I look at it, he didn’t just rape the 18-year-old freshman football player — he raped the men we’ve become. He raped the husbands once we got married. He fathered my children He raped my grandchildren’s grandfather,” he told CNN last month. “This has been affecting us for generations, and no one will know how many generations of what Anderson has done will affect us.”

However, in a 2020 interview, Christian burst out with comparisons between Paterno and Bo Schembechler, saying he was an excellent coach and not responsible for Anderson’s abuse. Still, he was “disappointed to find that Michigan didn’t have the integrity the players had,” he said.

Other son: ‘Bo would have done something’

The Hall of Fame coach has other defenders, including his biological son, who has ESPN . told before that his father knew nothing about Anderson’s abuse.

“I can tell you unequivocally that no one ever told Bo,” Glenn Schembechler told the network last year. “Bo would have done something.”

Current Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh also defended his predecessor. Standing in front of the football building that bears Schembechler’s name and has a statue of the late coach, Harbaugh told reporters he didn’t see such behavior as a youngster or Michigan quarterback in the 1980s, according to The Detroit News. .

“There was nothing that I saw when I was a kid here — my dad was on the staff — or when I played here. He never sat on anything. He never procrastinated,” Harbaugh told the paper. “He took care of it before the sun went down. That’s the Bo Schembechler I know. There was nothing that was ever swept under the rug or ignored.’

Anderson’s children have come for their father too, tell The Detroit News last year they didn’t believe the accusations. Kurt Anderson said, “That’s just not him,” and Jill Anderson called the accusations ridiculous.

“My father was a beloved doctor at UM for so many years,” the doctor’s daughter told the newspaper. “He was highly respected. Everyone said he treated them with the utmost integrity and care.”

According to the WilmerHale report, many patients abused by Anderson were members of sensitive populations — including LGBTQ patients, student athletes competing for scholarships, and patients seeking medical exemption from the Vietnam War — and “felt that they had few other had a choice then turned to Dr. Anderson Abuse.”

Some of the alleged victims left their teams, while others questioned their sexuality, sought help or dropped out of school, the report said.

“The trauma that caused Dr. Anderson’s misconduct continues to this day,” the report said.

Rebekah Riess and Alec Snyder of CNN contributed to this report.

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