DETROIT – A son of legendary University of Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler was among the hundreds of men who were sexually assaulted by a campus doctor, and he will speak publicly about the abuse along with two players who also were victims in the 1970s and '80s, lawyers said Wednesday.
Matt Schembechler, Daniel Kwiatkowski and Gilvanni Johnson are expected to discuss the abuse during a news conference Thursday. Their accusations come a month after a report commissioned by the university said Bo Schembechler and other officials were aware of complaints about Dr. Robert Anderson, though he remained at the school for decades.
“Matt Schembechler will set the record straight regarding his own abuse by Dr. Anderson and his father’s failure to protect him and other athletes,” attorney Mick Grewal said in a written statement.
The younger Schembechler talked with a handful of news outlets late Wednesday and said he told his father he had been sexually assaulted by Anderson in 1969 during a physical examination required to play in a youth football league.
He said Schembechler, then in his first year of his iconic run with the Wolverines, became enraged and punched him in the chest.
“That was the first time he closed-fist punched me,” Matt Schembechler told ESPN in describing Schembechler, who adopted him in 1968. “It knocked me all the way across the kitchen.”
He said his mother invited the athletic director at the time, Don Canham, to their home so he could describe the abuse. The younger Schembechler told The Detroit News that Canham fired Anderson “nearly immediately.”
“Bo went to him and said, ‘I need him, he is our team doctor, reinstate him,’ and he did,” the 62-year-old Schembechler told the News. Canham died in 2005, one year before Bo Schembechler. Anderson died in 2008.