'I Could Hear Bo Clearly': Former UM Student Details Tense Exchange Between Schembechler and AD

Former University of Michigan student doesn't blame Schembechler, but admits the former head coach knew what was happening.
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Richard Goldman, otherwise known as John Doe EB-17 in litigation, was one of three individuals who spoke at today’s press conference where former University of Michigan students shared details of sexual abuse at the hands of the late Dr. Robert Anderson.

Anderson was a doctor at the University of Michigan from 1966-2003, where he allegedly used his position to sexually assault hundreds, if not thousands, of students and student athletes.

Goldman, who was a student broadcaster at the University of Michigan from 1981-1983, is one of the individuals who claims to have been assaulted by Anderson.

“Late in 1981, I came in to Bo and I was sitting with him. I had suffered for many years with migraine headaches. Bo saw that I could not see him literally from across his desk. He immediately suggested that I go to Dr. Robert Anderson for one thing and one thing only - to get a referral to the University hospital to find one of the particular doctors or experts that could help with the migraines. I went to see Dr. Anderson, and when I went to see Dr. Anderson...obviously there’s a difference in body parts from one’s head and one’s ‘below’. He decided that, in the middle of the conversation that I was having with him to get a referral, that he was going to reach down and grab…”

After the uncomfortable exchange with Anderson, Goldman claimed he immediately went to Schembechler.

“I immediately went back to Bo after walking out of his [Anderson’s] office - I did not get a referral - because I just felt something was wrong. I went into Bo and I said, ‘this just happened’. The employee that Bo was said to go to Don Canham, who was his employer as the athletics director. I went into Don Canham’s office and said, ‘something’s wrong’. He sat there, stared at me and said nothing.”

According to Goldman, he would visit Dr. Anderson two more times in hopes of getting treatment for his migraines and at the direction of Bo Schembechler.

“Let’s fast forward to 1982, the migraines were still there. Schembechler again - and foolish me - said that you’ve got to get to Anderson because he has to give you the referrals. This time he [Anderson] tried to do a physical exam and started pulling my pants down. I pushed him away and walked away. I went back to Bo’s office and he said the same thing, ‘go to Don Canham.’ I went to Canhams office, I told him the same thing. He sat there as silent as the media is looking at me today”

“1983 is where it all comes to a head. In 1983, I went into Anderson’s office to meet with his secretary. I said, ‘look, the migraines are bad. I’ve had a referral, I’ve been on a particular medication ,that medication was just yanked from the market because they found a cocaine derivative in it, we’ve got a problem.’ Well, he calls me into his office and the first thing he does - before he says a word - he says to lay down on the table, I’m going to do a physical. The answer is, ‘go to hell’.”

At this point, Goldman describes a tense exchange between Schembechler and Canham.

“This time, I march back into the sports information area, march past it, went to the athletics office, bypass Bo’s office, went into Canhams office...slammed the door and said to him, ‘what in the hell? It’s been two years and obviously you’ve done nothing. He just tried to do this to me.’ The first time in three years he spoke to me and told me to go 'F' myself. At that point, I walked out of his office, slammed my hand literally on the wall where Schembechler’s office was near, he [Schembechler] came out. He said ‘what just happened?’ I told him. He proceeded to go into Chanhams office, slam the door and he read them the riot act.”

“Now I could hear Bo clearly and what he was saying. He was telling Canham, ‘what in the hell are you doing? Why hasn't this man been fired? This is the third time that this has happened. Why have you done nothing?’

The account by Goldman contradicts many who have rushed to the defense of Schembechler, claiming that if he would have known he would have put a stop to it.  However, Goldman was clear in that he didn't hold Bo Schembechler personally responsible for Anderson's misconduct over the years.

"Bo was the employee.  Bo did his job.  He told me to go to his boss, Don Canham.  Plain and simple, he did his job.  Now everybody says 'did he know, did he know?'  Yes, he knew.  But what is the employee supposed to do?  In any corporation, any athletics department, when you go to your boss, your boss is the one who should be handling it."

Though Goldman doesn't hold Schembechler personally responsible for his abuse, he does acknowledge disappointment that Schembechler didn't take action when he became the athletic director in 1988.

"I'm very disappointed.  Let me be very honest, that's all I can say.  I'm very disappointed.  Because obviously he knew.  Bo knew through me, and whether anybody else has come forward other than me.  Yes, he should have done something and I am disappointed that he did not."