Decades of public silence about Anderson followed. Schembechler said he chose to report now because it would be “irresponsible” not to reveal what happened.
“I thought I could make an impact and make a change and help make it never happen to anyone again,” Schembechler said. “I’ve always been proactive and willing to set out to help other people.”
In a statement Thursday, Michigan President Mark Schlissel and the regent’s board said, “Our sympathy for all of Anderson’s victims is deep and unwavering, and we thank them for their courage in responding.” Officials added that they were “committed to resolving their claims and continuing the confidential mediation court proceedings.”
Recent and substantive investigations into Anderson’s behavior began in 2018, when a member of the 1970s wrestling team wrote to the Michigan athletic director and accused Anderson of injustice. The letter led to a police investigation, and in February 2020, the university announced that “several individuals” had filed a lawsuit against Anderson.
The university’s announcement and request for additional information led to a host of new complaints about the doctor and, ultimately, to a report released last month. In it, a law firm hired by the university said Anderson had committed a “wide range” of misconduct and that Michigan officials had not taken action against him despite “credible reports”.
“He continued to provide medical services to student-athletes and other patients – and to behave sexually with large numbers of them for the rest of his career,” the report said. Investigators believe Anderson sacrificed hundreds of people during his tenure, when he often worked in a building named Bo Schembechler.
The report described some cases in which student-athletes reported concerns to Bo Schembechler about Anderson, who retired in 2003, recalling that the coach responded with a simple warning: “Tighten up.”