Current ‘U’ Assistant Athletic Director allegedly knew about Anderson's misconduct

Thursday, March 26, 2020 - 5:14pm

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In a federal lawsuit filed against Robert Anderson, the late University of Michigan sports physician who has recently been accused of sexual misconduct, Paul Schmidt, University of Michigan assistant athletic director, was implicated for being aware of Anderson’s behavior, according to a report published by The Detroit News Thursday.

Former students and University employees have spoken out against Anderson’s abuse during medical treatments. Regent Ron Weiser (R) added his name to the list of accusations against Anderson.

With this implication, Schmidt becomes the fifth University employee allegedly aware of the doctor’s abuse. Don Canham, late University athletic director; Bill Johannesen, former University head wrestling coach; Jack Harvey, former University track head coach; and Ron Warhurst, former University assistant track coach, are the other employees that have been mentioned in the investigation.

At a press conference in February, three former University athletes spoke out against Anderson. Tad Deluca, a former University wrestler, wrote two letters to the University detailing Anderson’s abuse that went unanswered.

Schmidt, however, is the first current University employee to be implicated in the investigation. According to the lawsuit filed by a former University football player, he met with Anderson to obtain a required physical. It was reported that “the doctor groped his penis and testicles ‘for an inordinately long period of time.’” Afterward, the lawsuit said the football player approached Schmidt. 

“(Schmidt) laughed and told the Plaintiff, ‘get used to that’ — which Plaintiff understood as referring to Dr. Anderson’s punitive medical treatment,” the lawsuit reads. 

According to The Detroit News, the plaintiff was afraid to question the Athletic Department’s leadership since he was on an athletic scholarship. Deluca has previously said he lost his scholarship and financial aid and was kicked off the wrestling team after raising concerns about Anderson’s behavior. 

Reporter Francesca Duong can be reached at fduong@umich.edu.