The University of Michigan said it will pay a $490 million settlement with 1,050 people who say they were sexually assaulted by Dr. Robert E. Anderson.
Another $30 million will be reserved for future claimants who choose to participate in the settlement before July 31, 2023.
In March 2020, a law firm hired by U-M to investigate the scandal found that Anderson engaged in a “pervasive, decades-long, destructive pattern of sexual misconduct” involving hundreds of U-M students, and university officials knew about it as early as 1978.
Anderson was a now-deceased sports doctor who worked at the university from 1968 until his retirement in 2003.
Students nicknamed him “Dr. Drop-Your-Drawers Anderson” for his habit of forcing athletes to strip naked and undergo genital exams, according to police reports.
Anderson was accused of anal penetration and testicular exams during routine physicals that were required to play sports, as well as during medical exams for unrelated health problems.
One survivor was a football player who said he was anally penetrated by Anderson during an exam for a migraine in the 1980s. He said he reported the incident to legendary football coach Bo Schembechler.
Officials at U-M are also accused of turning a blind eye to the abuse, ignoring complaints for decades, and perpetrating the abuses by continuing to provide him with unfettered access to more students.
For example, back in 1979, U-M actually fired Anderson from his job as the top doctor at the student health services after he was accused of “fooling around with male students” during exams, according to police reports.
Instead of leaving the university, Dr. Anderson took a pay cut and became the top doctor in the athletic department in 1980. He was the top doctor for the U-M football team when he finally retired in 2003. He died just a few years later, in 2008.
The settlement for victims of Anderson follows several other sex abuse scandals in recent years. Last year, the University of Southern California agreed to pay an $850 million settlement who allege they were sexually abused by campus gynecologist George Tyndall.
In 2018, Michigan State University agreed to pay a $500 million settlement to more than 300 women who claim they were assaulted by Larry Nassar, a campus sports doctor who also worked for USA Gymnastics.