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Ten former student athletes sue U of M over Anderson abuse allegations

Dr. Robert E. Anderson in 1973.
UM Bentley Historical Library

Ten former student athletes are suing the University of Michigan for damages related to abuse by the late Dr. Robert Anderson.

One named plaintiff, Mike Robinson, is a former basketball play for U of M and the other nine have chosen to remain anonymous.


The lawsuit alleges that the university showed “deliberate indifference towards the threat that Anderson posed to plaintiffs and his other victims.” The lawsuit also claims the University knew of the abuse, and did nothing about it, instead “[p]unishing individuals who complained about Anderson’s sexual assaults or harassment,” and “[put] their concern for UM’s reputation and future athletic recruitment before their concern for the victims of Anderson’s sexual assaults.”

The plaintiffs are demanding almost $10 million in damages.

Michael Wright is an attorney representing the plaintiffs.

He says the University has been very vocally supportive of the victims, but has not actually done anything to help them.

“We need Michigan to acknowledge what happened. We need Michigan to make corrective measures so that this won’t happen to future athletes, future student-athletes, future students.”

“We want to make sure that the victims receive counseling, receive compensation, and receive what is due them based on Michigan’s failure to protect them while they were at the University.”

He says his firm represents approximately 175 former student athletes who allege abuse by Dr. Anderson, though they have not filed lawsuits for every single one.

The University of Michigan said in a statement:

We have great admiration for all of the former University of Michigan athletes and students who are stepping forward to share their stories. At U-M, we condemn all sexual misconduct, whether it takes place now or took place in the past. The university has engaged the WilmerHale law firm to conduct an independent investigation into these allegations. Because of this ongoing investigation and pending litigation, there is nothing more we can share.


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Caroline is a third year history major at the University of Michigan. She also works at The Michigan Daily, where she has been a copy editor and an opinion columnist. When she’s not at work, you can find her down at Argo Pond as a coxswain for the Michigan men’s rowing team. Caroline loves swimming, going for walks, being outdoors, cooking, trivia, and spending time with her two-year-old cat, Pepper.
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