Jim Harbaugh said he never saw, or heard, anything inappropriate surrounding the late Dr. Robert Anderson, the former University of Michigan doctor accused of sexual abuse by an ever-growing number of people, including ex-football players.
Anderson was the family doctor, Harbaugh said, as his father, Jack, was on the Michigan football coaching staff from 1973-79.
“Also when I played here at Michigan, Dr. Anderson was the team doctor,” Harbaugh said. “And took a physical for every youth sport that I played, and also when I was here in college for football, a yearly physical. Never saw, never anything inappropriate. Nor did I ever hear anything that was inappropriate about Dr. Anderson. … Never experienced anything inappropriate.”
Anderson is alleged to have abused students and athletes during medical exams.
“It happened to me, it happened to them, it happened to just about everyone I knew,” Thomas Evashevski, a former Michigan wrestler and an alleged survivor of Anderson’s abuse, said at a press conference in February.
Lawsuits filed by survivors are currently pending, as is a University investigation done by an outside firm, WilmerHale.
The University has said it wants to settle claims out of court, setting up a hotline number for victims to call with allegations.
Athletic director Warde Manuel has also come under fire for his handling of a complaint regarding the case, forwarding it to University lawyers instead of Title IX investigators.
In mid-June, Michigan reached out via email and the postal service to over 300,000 students who attended the University while Anderson worked there, asking alumni to report experiences with him.
“I am writing to ask you to come forward and speak to WilmerHale if you had any experience with Anderson you wish to report or if you have any other information you believe may be relevant,” University President Mark Schlissel wrote. “Safeguarding the confidentiality of Dr. Anderson’s former patients is of paramount importance. Accordingly, WilmerHale will not disclose any identifying or confidential patient information to the University, and the identity and confidentiality of Dr. Anderson’s patients will be protected from disclosure to others to the fullest extent permitted by law.”