Report on campus doctor raises flags about iconic coach

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — A report about the gorgeous lack of motion on the University of Michigan whereas a rogue doctor was sexually assaulting a whole lot of younger males has cast an unflattering gentle at one of many college’s giants, the late soccer coach Bo Schembechler, whose bronze statue stands on campus.

Schembechler, who led the crew from 1969-89, was vividly informed by at the very least 4 folks that Robert Anderson had molested them throughout routine physicals or different exams, in line with the report commissioned by the college. Yet, the report says, he took no direct steps and even informed one man to “toughen up.”

While U-M digests the report by the WilmerHale regulation agency and offers with a flood of lawsuits by Anderson’s victims, it additionally may need to think about the way forward for the Schembechler statue and the soccer constructing that bears his title. Penn State University in 2012 eliminated a statue of the iconic coach Joe Paterno who was accused of burying baby intercourse abuse allegations in opposition to an assistant coach.

The report about Anderson, launched Tuesday, particulars many missed alternatives to cease the doctor, who spent 37 years on campus and died in 2008. But no different title within the report is extra recognizable than Schembechler.

“At this early stage, all I can really say with confidence is that it’s a tragedy, it can’t happen again, and we have more questions than answers until we learn more,” mentioned creator John U. Bacon, who wrote “Bo’s Lasting Lessons” with Schembechler, together with different books about Michigan sports activities.

Schembechler, who died in 2006, is a revered determine in Ann Arbor, although it’s been 32 years since he final coached a crew. The Wolverines received or shared 13 Big Ten soccer championships whereas often taking part in in entrance of 100,000 followers at Michigan Stadium.

Mike Stone, a Philadelphia native and common Detroit sports activities radio host, mentioned the Schembechler period turned him right into a U-M soccer fan. But he mentioned Schembechler’s title and statue ought to come down as a consequence of the “massive cover-up” of complaints about Anderson.

“And I don’t want to hear another quotation of ‘the team, the team, the team,’” Stone informed WXYT listeners Wednesday, citing an oft-repeated Schembechler mantra, “because the team was not protected by the head coach. I’m sorry. It’s disgusting.”

The report mentioned Schembechler was informed on 4 events within the Seventies and early Nineteen Eighties about Anderson molesting males. In one case, he informed a person to tell athletic director Don Canham, however officers took no subsequent motion.

Shemy Schembechler informed The Associated Press that it’s “disgraceful” for anybody to consider that his father didn’t care about the gamers. He insisted the coach would have acted if college students had shared considerations about Anderson. Others apparently have comparable views however weren’t named within the report.

“Multiple university personnel who worked with Mr. Schembechler told us that had he been aware of Dr. Anderson’s misconduct with patients, he would not have tolerated it,” in line with a footnote within the report.

The college declined to remark about Schembechler whereas sticking to an earlier assertion that it will “thoughtfully and diligently review” the WilmerHale findings. Meanwhile, it’s concerned in non-public mediation with legal professionals for Anderson’s victims, whose quantity might exceed 800.

Chuck Christian, a U-M soccer participant in 1977-80, mentioned he was assaulted by Anderson however didn’t inform Schembechler. He mentioned the traumatic expertise discouraged him from seeing docs, which he blames for the unfold of his prostate most cancers.

“That statue didn’t do anything to us. But the man that it represents didn’t protect us,” Christian, 61, informed the AP. “All it would have taken was for one man to stand up for us and this thing never would have happened.”


Sports author Larry Lage contributed to this story.


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