Ex-Michigan Football, Hockey Players Sue over Alleged Abuse by Robert Anderson

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMarch 6, 2020

COLLEGE PARK, MD - NOVEMBER 02: Michigan Wolverines helmets are seen on the sideline during a game against the Maryland Terrapins at Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium on November 2, 2019 in College Park, Maryland. Michigan defeated Maryland 38-7. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Two former University of Michigan football players and one former University of Michigan hockey player filed lawsuits Thursday against the school regarding the way it handled former team doctor Robert Anderson.

ESPN.com reported the news, noting the lawsuits were filed by men identified as John Doe who are represented by former Michigan attorney general Mike Cox.

The lawsuits came from a football player who was on the Wolverines from 1980 to 1985, another football player who was there from 1981 through 1985 and a hockey player who was there in 1983 and 1984.

They all said Anderson, who worked for the school from 1968 through 2003 and died in 2008, sexually assaulted them when he was working as a team doctor.

"Not once did plaintiff see Anderson for issues related to his genitals or anus; yet most of the times that Anderson treated plaintiff, Anderson required plaintiff to drop his pants, so Anderson could digitally penetrate plaintiff's anus and fondle plaintiff's genitals," the suit said about one of the football players.

There were similar allegations from the other two men as well.

"What happened here was a 30-year lie, the best and brightest of this state was savaged by Dr. Anderson, and we know people in the university in positions of power knew and did nothing," attorney John Manly said. "The damage to any of these men and women here is like having your guts ripped out. It's not a small thing. It's a horror show."

This comes after Dan Murphy of ESPN reported a former University of Michigan wrestler filed a federal lawsuit against the school Wednesday regarding the same issue.

Murphy noted more than 100 people have reached out to Michigan in recent weeks. 

The school announced it opened a hotline and hired the law firm Steptoe and Johnson to perform an independent review of the allegations. That announcement, which came in February, also said the school opened a police investigation in July 2018.

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