Dr. Robert Anderson | Michigan Radio
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Dr. Robert Anderson

In February, the Detroit News broke the story about allegations of abuse involving former University of Michigan sports doctor Robert Anderson. Since then, hundreds of men – and some women – have come forward to accuse Anderson of sexually assaulting them. Anderson worked at U of M from the mid-1960s until he retired in 2003. He died in 2008.

But survivors such as Jon Vaughn, who played football for U of M and in the NFL, want to see institutions implement protections for students who are abused on their campus, especially in sports.

As people victimized by Anderson continue to come forward, state legislators have been working on bills that allow survivors to seek justice through the courts. One of those lawmakers is Ryan Berman, a member of the Michigan House of Representatives.

Back of a school bus
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Today on Stateside, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death last week sent shockwaves throughout the nation, both emotionally and politically. We talk to one of her former clerks about Ginsburg's legacy and what the future makeup of the Supreme Court means for Michigan. Plus, a former Michigan football player talks about the abuse scandal surrounding former sports doctor Robert Anderson, and the breadth of access our state institutions provide to abusers.

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN / BENTLEY HISTORICAL LIBRARY

New legislation would make it easier for former University of Michigan athletes to file civil lawsuits against U of M alleging sexual abuse by a now-deceased university physician.

Dr. Robert Anderson spent more than 30 years at U of M. More than a hundred former students suing the university say he abused them under the guise of medical treatment.

Robert E. Anderson pictured in 1967.
University of Michigan / Bentley Historical Library

A retired University of Michigan administrator told lawyers that he was "furious" to learn in the late 1970s that a doctor was sexually abusing students. But Tom Easthope also acknowledges that he failed to ensure that Robert Anderson was kicked off campus.

Back of a school bus
Pixabay

Today on Stateside, a highlight of Michigan Radio's deep dive into the many allegations of sexual abuse at the hands of University of Michigan's Dr. Robert Anderson. Plus, the case for paying parents to stay home and take care of kids. And, a group of friends swam 54 miles across Lake Michigan.

The University of Michigan football stadium
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Dr. Robert E. Anderson was a physician at the University of Michigan from the late 1960s to early 2000s. Hundreds have accused him of sexually abusing them in the time period. The doctor is not here to answer for his actions. Most—but not all—of the people accused of enabling him are gone too. What, then, does justice look like?

The following interview is featured in this story by Anna Clark about those survivors, his enablers, and the institution that is finally facing a reckoning.

he University of Michigan has received nearly 400 complaints against Dr. Robert E. Anderson.
Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

Let’s begin with the people whose names we don’t know.

The hockey player on scholarship who picked the University of Michigan over other Division I programs because it was his favorite and first choice.

The wrestler who grew up in a large family in a blue-collar neighborhood, where a university coach sat on the couch of his parents’ home and promised the team would take care of their son.

Dr. Robert E. Anderson in 1973.
UM Bentley Historical Library

Ten former student athletes are suing the University of Michigan for damages related to abuse by the late Dr. Robert Anderson.

One named plaintiff, Mike Robinson, is a former basketball play for U of M and the other nine have chosen to remain anonymous.

 

Bentley Historical Library

With plaintiff attorneys calling this perhaps the “most appalling sexual assault against a group of African-Americans in this country's history,” two Black former student athletes - including former San Francisco 49rs Super Bowl champion Dwight Hicks - described the agonizing process of coming to terms with their sexual abuse by Dr. Robert Anderson during their time at the University of Michigan.

Robert E. Anderson pictured in 1967.
University of Michigan / Bentley Historical Library

A federal judge says the University of Michigan must alert the roughly 300,000 alumni it previously asked for information about a former sports doctor accused of sexual abuse, that there are several lawsuits pending against the University and they could be potential plaintiffs. 

Michigan football stadium
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, Governor Gretchen Whitmer has been vocal about her decision to only reopen schools if public health officials agree it is safe.

What are the discussions happening between the Governor and the Republican led legislature regarding schools and education funding? Plus a conversation with former Detroit Institute of Arts and Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit employees about systemic racism in art institutions. Also, we spoke with the reporter who wrote about University of Michigan football star Jon Vaughn’s story of survival in “an ecosystem of abuse.”

University of Michigan near Rackham and Michigan League
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A federal judge ordered the University of Michigan on Wednesday to immediately stop communicating with alumni who could be potential plaintiffs in class action litigation against the school.

The order came after Judge Victoria Roberts learned that in April, U of M had contacted more than 300,000 former students in connection with its investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct and sexual abuse by the late Dr. Robert Anderson. 

headshot of Ron Weister
University of Michigan

The highest-ranking elected official at the University of Michigan says he too was abused by the late sports physician Robert Anderson.

That's according to an exclusive interview with the Detroit News.

Ron Weiser is the chairman of the University of Michigan's Board of Regents.

Robert E. Anderson pictured in 1967.
University of Michigan / Bentley Historical Library

The University of Michigan said it is replacing the law firm pegged to lead the investigation into allegations a deceased team doctor molested hundreds of people after learning that some of its attorneys represented high-profile clients accused of sexual misconduct.

C.C. Little Science Building
College of Literature, Science, and the Arts at the University of Michigan

Attorney General Dana Nessel says she’s willing to investigate allegations of sex abuse leveled against a University of Michigan doctor. But she set some conditions that would have to be met first.

Former U of M students and athletes have stepped forward with claims of abuse by Dr. Robert Anderson, who died in 2008. They also say U of M failed to protect them from the abuse.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Three men who accuse a late University of Michigan doctor of sexual abuse say they want accountability from the university—and for others to speak up.

Former U of M wrestlers Tad DeLuca, Thomas Evashevski, and Andy Hrovat spoke publicly about that abuse, and the school’s reluctance to deal with it at the time, alongside attorneys on Thursday.