The son of the legendary late University of Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler says he was sexually assaulted by Dr. Robert Anderson. Matt Schembechler and two former U of M football players will speak about their experiences with Anderson—and what they told Schembechler about them—at a press conference scheduled for Thursday.
A recent university-commissioned report, conducted by the law firm WilmerHale, found that Anderson, who died in 2008, sexually abused U of M patients and athletes on “countless occasions” during his decades with the school.
That report also found that several former U of M football players informed Schembechler of Anderson’s abuse during routine physical exams. According to the report, Schembechler either dismissed those reports, or did nothing about them.
Two of the players who did so, and were referenced anonymously in the WilmerHale report, are Daniel Kwiatkowski and Gilvanni Johnson. They will speak alongside Matt Schembechler on Thursday, according to a press release put out by the men’s attorneys on Wednesday.
“Matt Schembechler will set the record straight regarding his own abuse by Dr. Anderson and his father’s failure to protect him and other athletes,” according to the release. It goes on to say that Kwiatiowski was assaulted by Anderson during a 1977 physical, but upon reporting it to Bo Schembechler was advised to “toughen up.”
Johnson reports that he was assaulted in 1982, and reported that to Bo Schembechler. Schembechler promised to address the issue with medical staff, but apparently never did so. Johnson reports that he was then sexually assaulted by Anderson another 15-20 times.
Schembechler was not the only U of M employee who was apparently informed about Anderson’s misconduct, but either dismissed or ignored it. The WilmerHale report found that “At least a small number of University personnel were aware from early days of concerns about Dr. Anderson’s conduct with patients.”
Attorneys for some Anderson survivors have called the WilmerHale report inadequate, and called on Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel to conduct a full criminal investigation. Current U of M President Mark Schlissel “offers [the university's] heartfelt apology for the abuse perpetrated by the late Robert Anderson.”
Bo Schembechler coached U of M football from 1969-1989, compiling a 234-65-8 record and earning a spot in the College Football Hall of Fame. He died in 2006.
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