Son of former Michigan coach Schembechler claims father ignored doctor’s sexual abuse

‘I hoped my father would protect me, but he didn’t’

Bo Schembechler's son Matt claims father ignored doctor's sex abuse
Bo Schembechler's son Matt claims father ignored doctor's sex abuse

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The son of legendary University of Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler came forward Thursday with evidence against his father in the case of a university doctor believed to have sexually abused hundreds of patients.

Matt Schembechler said his dad knew everything and did nothing about it. He was joined with two other University of Michigan football players -- Daniel Kwiatkowski and Gilvanni Johnson -- who both said Bo Schembechler and Dr. Robert Anderson caused them great pain.

Matt Schembechler said he told his father about the abuse when he was 10 years old after a football physical in 1969.

“Bo’s temper was legendary. He lost it. He screamed ‘I don’t want to hear this. I’m not hearing this,’” Matt Schembechler recalled. “I tried to tell him repeatedly and that effort earned me a punch in the chest. This was the beginning of the end of the relationship with him.”

He said he moved out on his own when he was 18. He said he doesn’t hate his father, but he doesn’t like him.

Matt Schembechler’s story predates the others. Johnson claimed two of his marriages failed because of the intimacy issues he wrestled with after Anderson reportedly molested him during repeated athletic physicals.

“People are saying that Bo didn’t know. He did know,” Johnson said. “The only way that was going to get out is for me, myself, to come out to let people know he did know. I told him myself and our relationship from that point went downhill.”

Kwiatkowski claimed Anderson sexually assaulted him in a similar fashion and decided to come forward after seeing people question the allegations in the news.

“I didn’t think it was going to turn into this. They were just asking if this guy was messed up and he messed me up,” Kwiatkowski said.

Matt Schembechler said he believes the abuse continued for so long because of a culture that placed the university’s reputation above student safety.

“It’s clear the culture of abuse at U of M has not changed and will not change until they acknowledge what happened,” Matt Schembechler said.

The University of Michigan released the following statement Thursday:

The Michigan Sexual Assault Hotline offers anonymous assistance and support without judgement. It can be reached at 855-864-2374.


About the Authors: