The University of Michigan was hit with a lawsuit from 53 former students, including dozens of football players, who claim Dr. Robert Anderson sexually abused them during physical exams.
In a bombshell accusation, a student said he reported his assault to the legendary football coach Bo Schembechler in the 1980s. The student said he was anally penetrated by Dr. Anderson during an exam for a migraine.
The lawsuit claims Bo Schembechler grew “visibly angry” when he was informed of the assault. Schembechler told the student to tell athletic director Don Canham. The student did, but he said Canham’s “response, literally, was just to blow me off. He did nothing.”
After the report, Canham took no further action and Dr. Anderson remained the football team doctor for decades.
Dr. Anderson worked at U-M from 1968 until his retirement in 2003. He died in 2008. The complaints against him span decades. His habit of giving unnecessary rectal and testicular exams were so well-known among athletes that he was nicknamed “Dr. Drop-Your-Drawers” and “Dr. Glove.”
Bill Johannesen, a wrestling coach at U-M in the 1970s, told police that student wrestlers would see Dr. Anderson for a “hurt elbow,” but the first thing he would tell them to do was “take your pants down.”
It wasn’t until several victims hired lawyers that U-M opened an investigation in 2018. That year, police interviewed multiple athletes who said Dr. Anderson would force them to undergo rectal exams during routine physicals that U-M required to play sports.