Former OSU, Michigan Athletes Creating Education Program on Abuse in Youth Sport

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVMay 19, 2021

COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 16: A detailed view of seats courtside before a game between the Texas Southern Tigers and the Ohio State Buckeyes on November 16th, 2017 at Value City Arena in Columbus, OH.(Photo by Adam Lacy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Adam Lacy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Former college athletes who were sexually abused at Ohio State and the University of Michigan are launching an organization to create an education program about the abuse of athletes at the youth level.

Per Dan Murphy of ESPN, the group is partnering with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and will provide resources for children, families and coaches on how to spot, report and prevent potential abuse.

"I want to use my experience to help out as many young people as possible," said former Michigan football player Chuck Christian, who said he was abused by former Wolverines team doctor Robert Anderson.

Michigan athletics continued allowing Anderson to treat students for 24 years after he was initially fired from the university's student health services in 1979 for abusing an athlete. Anderson, who died in 2008, is accused of abusing over 200 athletes during his tenure at the school, which lasted until his retirement in 2003.

At least 235 individuals have filed lawsuits against the university, including several who reported the abuse to athletics department staff.

Ohio State paid $40.9 million last May to the survivors of sexual assault by former athletics physician Richard Strauss, who died in 2005. According to a report commissioned by the university, Strauss committed at least 1,430 acts of fondling and 47 rapes against at least 177 students.

The report said several people within the university were aware of Strauss' abuse, with allegations beginning in 1979. However, the university took no action against Strauss until 1996. 

Six wrestlers accused former head coach Russ Hellickson and former assistant coach Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) of aiding in a coverup of the allegations against Strauss.