Son of Bo Schembechler says legendary Michigan coach ignored abuse claim
Bo Schembechler is one of the most beloved figures in Michigan football history, but a shocking revelation that was made by his son this week could change that for many.
Schembechler’s son, Matthew Schembechler, told Kim Kozlowski of the Detroit News on Wednesday that former Michigan team doctor Dr. Robert Anderson sexually molested him when he was 10 years old. Matthew said he told his father about it and that the legendary coach refused to take action and intervened to save Anderson’s job.
Matthew said Anderson sexually molested him during a physical examination to play in a youth football league. He claims Bo went into a fit of rage and punched him in the chest when he informed his father about the abuse. The younger Schembechler, who is now 62, said his mother invited former Michigan athletic director Don Canham over to their house to inform him of the incident. Canham initially terminated Anderson before Bo stepped in, according to Matthew.
“(Canham) talked to Anderson and terminated him nearly immediately,” Schembechler said. “Bo went to him and said, ‘I need him, he is our team doctor, reinstate him,’ and he did. … It was the first time of many that I felt betrayed by Bo.
“I was confused why he was mad at me. Bo would not talk about it. Bo did what was best for Bo.”
Schembechler plans to discuss his story at a press conference on Thursday. He says his father failed to protect him any many others from Anderson, who is accused of assaulting more than 800 people.
Anderson was Michigan’s head of University Health Services and team physician from 1966-2003. In February 2020, former Michigan student Robert Julian Stone publicly accused Anderson of sexually abusing him in 1971. More than 800 alleged victims then came out with similar allegations. The Detroit News shared more about the legal proceedings.
Bo Schembechler coached Michigan from 1969-1989. He won 13 Big Ten championships and is one of the most successful coaches in program history.