Matt Schembechler: Bo knew about sexual abuse, but kept Anderson on as U-M team doctor

June 09, 2021, 9:36 PM

Bo Schembechler

The legacy of late University of Michigan football Coach Bo Schembechler is increasingly tarnished, with the latest allegation perhaps the most shocking.

Schembechler's son Matt now says he told the legendary coach he had been sexually molested by university doctor Robert Anderson during an exam when Matt was 10, as part of a youth football league screening.

Matt Schembechler is one of an several men who say Anderson, who died in 2008, touched or penetrated them inappropriately during medical exams conducted in the course of Anderson's work as a team doctor for U-M athletics. He and two other former U-M athletes, Daniel Kwiatkowski and Gilvanni Johnson, spoke at a Thursday news conference.

Bo Schembechler died in 2006.

Matt said he had already told his mother, a nurse, about the encounter, and she asked him to tell his father.

"When Bo got home, I told him what happened, (and) it did not go well," he said. "Bo's temper was legendary and he lost it. He screamed, 'I don't want to hear this. I'm not hearing this.' I tried to tell him repeatedly, but my effort earned me a punch in the chest. This is the begining of the end of my relationship with him."

Matt Schembechler (left), Daniel Kwiatkowski (bottom) and Gilvanni Johnson (top)

He said his mother didn't give up and went over Bo's head, asking the athletic director Don Canham to come to the house. He fired him in.

The Detroit News story continues:

"(Canham) talked to Anderson and terminated him nearly immediately," said Schembechler, who lives in Ann Arbor. "Bo went to him and said, 'I need him, he is our team doctor, reinstate him,' and he did."

Many former Michigan athletes have described how Anderson, who died in 2008, fondled their genitals and gave unnecessary rectal exams.

As a result of the allegations, critics have been demanding the university remove Schembechler's statue and other honors from campus. 

Read more:  The Detroit News

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