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Attorney: Dr. Anderson survivors included University of Michigan basketball players

Attorney says ex-basketball coach Dave Strack was informed of abuse, allegedly did not report

Attorney: Dr. Robert Anderson included baskbetball players
Attorney: Dr. Robert Anderson included baskbetball players

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Local 4 is learning more of the 800-plus former University of Michigan athletes who have come forward accusing Dr. Robert Anderson of sexual abuse during exams.

“My clients predominately are basketball players, and a number of them highly recognizable names,” said attorney Ven Johnson.

Johnson with Johnson Law represents 21 men who said they endured the invasive exams by Anderson -- 18 of them, Michigan basketball athletes, played in the 1960s, 70s and 80s for three different coaches.

MORE: Everything Bo Schembechler’s son, 2 former Michigan football players said about doctor abuse case

Dave Strack coached the Wolverines from 1960 until 1968. Johnson said Strack was told of the abuse.

“From my clients’ testimony, as it will be in court, that he did nothing,” he said on whether Strack reported the abuse to athletic director Don Canham.

In terms of Strack’s response, Johnson said “Pretty much the same as Bo, they laughed about it.”

Bo Schembechler has been the recent focus of the scandal with his family and some former players coming to his defense as others said he knew and did nothing.

MORE: Family of Bo Schembechler issues letter defending him amid criticism of his handling of doctor abuse claims

But according to Johnson, that’s not what the focus should be.

“This is something bigger than Bo, this is something bigger than U of M. These are people. These are survivors. These are not people making up stories. They’re not people who are looking to get rich out of a little lawsuit. These are real people,” he said.

Johnson said the university so far apologizing only what Anderson did is not enough.

“He was just an incredible predator, And the only way that this can happen is if there is this ongoing -- what I’m going to call-- ‘inside cover up,’” he said.

MORE: 2 former UM football players, ex-NHL player among alleged sexual abuse victims of Dr. Anderson


About the Author:

Jason anchors Local 4's 5:30 p.m. newscast. He joined WDIV in January 2015 as a general assignment reporter and has a Journalism degree from Michigan State University.