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Former Michigan athletes call out Board of Regents, demand state AG investigation into Anderson abuse allegations

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A press conference near the Big House Wednesday revealed more information and a message to Michigan’s Board of Regents.

Burton Memorial Tower At The University Of Michigan Photo by Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

It’s been more than a year since allegations surfaced that former University of Michigan doctor Robert Anderson sexually abused students and student-athletes for decades. Since the first allegations, there have been tons of twists and turns — another of which occurred on Wednesday.

During a press conference one block walk away from Michigan Stadium on Wednesday, numerous victims of the now deceased Anderson stood in solidarity, while some spoke. The survivors who did speak called for the U-M Board of Regents to request Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel to conduct a review of the Anderson allegations, and for U-M to release all Anderson-related records to Nessel’s office.

The victims stood in front of a sign that read, “Regents Refusing Justice.” Nessel recently said her office cannot open a probe into the Anderson allegations until U-M’s Board of Regents ask for a review. The board meets on Thursday.

“The university doesn’t want transparency about Anderson and his accomplices, whether they’re living or dead,” former Michigan wrestler Tad DeLuca said at the press conference. “The Wilmer-Hale report fails to provide us with the full truth and transparency we deserve. I call on the U of M Board of Regents to cooperate and to allow Attorney General’s office to conduct a true investigation where all questions are not only asked but also answered.”

Another major crux of the press conference involved former Michigan Athletic Director Don Canham, who served as AD from 1968-88. While Bo Schembechler’s name has been in the headlines lately for allegedly ignoring allegations of Anderson’s misconduct, the focus shifted to Canham when former student sports announcer Richard Goldman spoke.

Goldman said he made Schembechler aware of misconduct by Anderson. Schembechler told him to go to Canham’s office, which he then did. But Goldman alleges Canham didn’t want to help him despite telling him about Anderson’s misconduct in 1981, ‘82 and ‘83.

“There’s only one thing that matters here, and that’s the name of Don Canham,” Goldman said. “Don Canham could have ended this is in the 1960s, 70s, he didn’t, but he could certainly have ended it in 1981, 82 or 83 when I was a broadcaster in the university and I confronted him. The last time that I confronted him when I went to his office and slammed his door after what Anderson tried to pull on me, and said, ‘You’ve done nothing for two years.’ His comment back to me was, and I hope you don’t mind my swearing, his exact words were ‘Go f--- yourself.’”

What then followed, according to Goldman, was Bo coming to his defense.

“When I left Canham’s office and literally slammed my hand on the door — on the wall outside Schembechler’s office — he came out to me and said, ‘What just happened?’ When I told him, he went in and slammed Canham’s door and read him the riot act. That’s how I knew that Bo – who was the employee – was taking on his employer, who was Don Canham. None of this matters. Bo Schembechler, you want to blame him? You can’t. He was the employee,” Goldman said.

Schembechler’s name was pointed to in the Wilmer-Hale report multiple times as someone who allegedly did not address the concerns of his players when they alerted him of abuse and inappropriate behavior.

Last week, one of Schembechler’s son’s, Matt, held a press conference stating he was abused by Anderson in 1969 and punched in the chest by his father for telling him of the abuse. Bo’s other son, Glenn “Shemy” Schembechler has gone on record defending his father and disputing Matt’s allegations.