Sexual Abuse Allegations Surface at Michigan from Schembechler Era

Greg Arias

Another hit for college football came on Thursday when allegations of sexual assaults against as many as 53 former football players at The University of Michigan became public. 

According to a story from the Associated Press, "dozens of more victims who claim they were molested by a University of Michigan doctor filed a lawsuit against the school Thursday, including a former football player who said he told legendary coach Bo Schembechler about the abuse in the early 1980s."

"It’s the first time that a victim has publicly said Schembechler was aware of allegations against the late Dr. Robert Anderson, who worked at Michigan, especially with athletes, from the mid-1960s through 2003."

The report goes on to state that after being told of the allegations by the player, Schembechler advised the player to speak with then Michigan athletics director Don Canham. 

The story says that Canham did nothing after being told of the situation. 

This sounds eerily similar to the situation at Penn State, where former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was convicted of sexual abuse, convicted of 45 out of 48 counts in 2012. 

The difference here, however, would seem to be that Schembechler sent the player to his athletic director, removing him from at least some responsibility. 

Anderson was the Wolverines team doctor during the entire tenure of Schembechler as head coach in Ann Arbor. 

This incident will be another black eye for college football and a legendary football coach, who has since passed away. 

Schembechler passed away in 2006 after serving as the Wolverines head coach from 1969-89, where he 234-65-8 career record, including 14 Big-10 titles and having been named conference coach six-times. 

Current Michigan hed coach, and SEC-villain Jim Harbaugh, played for Schembechler at Michigan before an NFL playing and coaching career. He has not spoken publicly about the allegations against his former coach. He isn't likely to comment considering the legal proceedings facing the university in the wake of these allegations and lawsuit filed by the previous players. 

The story likely isn't finished as there could be more to come from other players involved unless Michigan moves to settle and attempt to protect Schembechler and the school's reputation from further embarrassment. 

It's another sad moment in the history of college football for everyone involved at Michigan. 

Follow Greg on Twitter @GregAriasSports and @SIVanderbilt or Facebook at Vanderbilt Commodores-Maven.

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