NOVI, Mich. (WWJ) -- Matt Schembechler, son of former University of Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler, and two former Wolverine players, say Bo knew about the repeated sexual abuse by former university doctor Robert Anderson but did nothing to stop it.
Speaking at a press conference in Novi Thursday, Schembechler, Dan Kwiatkowski and Gilvanni Johnson laid out claims that they reported abuse by Anderson to the coach, only to go ignored, as the doctor continued to abuse patients for the better part of three decades.
A 240-page report commissioned by the university found that Anderson sexually abused patients, with reports saying there are upwards of 800 survivors of his abuse.
Matt Schembechler, 62, says he was first abused by Anderson in 1969 at the age of 10 years old. When he told his adoptive father, he said he didn’t want to hear about it.
When the issue was reported to then-UM Athletic Director Don Canham, Anderson was terminated, only to be promptly reinstated, under the directive of Schembechler, according to a report from the Detroit News.
Several years later, it was offensive lineman Dan Kwiatkowski who reported the abuse to Schembechler, and he was told to “toughen up.” More than a decade after Schembechler was apparently first notified of abuse, Gilvanni Johnson says he was abused as a freshman at his first physical, and yet nothing was done.
Both former players spoke Thursday, detailing the alleged abuse by Anderson, saying the doctor, during routine physical exams, digitally penetrated their anuses, fondled their genitals and allegedly repeated this abuse for decades to countless athletes, mostly young men.
"Don't get me wrong, Bo was a good coach," Johnson said. "But for me, in my remembrance of him at this point, is he allowed kids 17 or 18 years old to continue to be assaulted when he could have did something about it."
Johnson and Kwiatkowski both say Anderson’s abuse was well-known within the program, as he was often referred to as “Dr. Anal” and players would joke that someone was “Dr. Andersized” after going to see him.
“We now know because of survivors coming forward that Anderson’s abuse of players, students, for over 30 years was the worst-kept secret at the University,” Matt Schembechler said Thursday. “I understand the reverence people have for my father, including Jim Harbaugh, but I know the truth -- Anderson abused me and countless others over three decades.”
When asked what his father would have to say about the allegations and public comments Thursday, Schembechler said "I can't repeat that in public."
"Honestly, I could care less what his opinion was. I don’t hate Bo. I just don’t like him.”
Johnson says after reporting the abuse to Schembechler, he was told it would be looked into. Instea