Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel reportedly violated university policy after receiving a letter alleging former football team doctor Dr. Robert Anderson had sexually assaulted student-athletes, according to David Jesse of the Detroit Free Press.
Instead of sending the letter to the school's Title IX investigators, Manuel sent it to the university's lawyers to allegedly get an early warning of potential liability.
Parker Stinar, an attorney representing the person who sent the letter, said Manuel's actions were evidence of a cover-up:
"The University of Michigan not following their own policies indicates they were covering something up. Certainly it shows they wanted to approach the Anderson case differently than other cases. The letter was not the first time the current administration had been warned about Anderson. They were warned during the Nassar case, after the Nassar case and during the Ohio State cases. They understood the magnitude of the financial liability they could face."
University spokesman Rick Fitzgerald gave a statement to the Free Press about the letter: "The very day that Warde Manuel received it, he shared it with the Office of the General Counsel and it was shared with OIE. The fact that there was no delay whatsoever getting the letter to OIE is the most important point we want to make."
Larry Nassar admitted to sexual assault during his roles with USA Gymnastics and a team doctor at Michigan State. The school was forced to pay a $4.5 million fine for its poor handling of the case.
Anderson worked at Michigan from 1968-2003 before his death in 2008, but the university opened an investigation in 2018 after receiving a letter describing alleged abuse that took place in the 1970s.
According to Kim Kozlowski of the Detroit News, he was removed as the director of the University Health Service in 1979 for allegedly "fooling around with male students" but was eventually moved to a different role on campus and became the athletic department's top physician.
Per Jesse, there are now at approximately 40 lawsuits against Michigan in federal court alleging the school covered up Anderson's assaults for decades.