Decades of public silence about Anderson followed. Schembechler, however, said he had chosen to come forward now because it would be “irresponsible” not to reveal what had happened.
“I thought I could make an impact and make a change and help stop it from ever happening again,” Schembechler said. “I’ve always been proactive and willing to put myself out there to help other people.”
In a statement Thursday, Michigan President Mark Schlissel and the regent said: “Our sympathy for all of Anderson’s victims is deep and unwavering, and we thank them for their courage in coming forward.” Officials added that they were “obliged to resolve their claims and continue the legally controlled confidential mediation process.”
The recent and substantive investigations into Anderson’s behavior began in 2018, when a 1970s wrestling team member wrote to Michigan’s athletic director, accusing Anderson of the crime. The letter led to a police investigation, and in February 2020, the university announced that “several people” had made claims against Anderson.
The announcement and the university’s call for further information led to a series of new complaints about the doctor and eventually to the report, which was published last month. In it, a law firm employed by the university said Anderson had engaged in a “wide range” of misdemeanors and that Michigan officials had not acted against him despite “credible reports.”
“He continued to provide medical care to student-athletes and other patients – and engage in sexual misconduct with a large number of them – for the rest of his career,” the report said. Investigators believe Anderson sacrificed hundreds of people in his day when he often worked in a building named after Bo Schembechler.
The report described some cases where student-athletes reported concern about Anderson, who retired in 2003, to Bo Schembechler, with one reminding that the coach had responded with a simple admonition: “Dry up.