Harbaugh: 'Never experienced anything inappropriate' with ex-Michigan doctor accused of sex abuse

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News

Scores of lawsuits have been filed against the University of Michigan regarding sexual abuse by former athletic department team physician Dr. Robert Anderson, but Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh said he never experienced, heard or saw anything inappropriate involving the doctor.

Harbaugh, a former Michigan quarterback, said during a video conference with reporters on Wednesday that Anderson was also the Harbaugh family doctor when his father, Jack, was an assistant coach at Michigan.

Dr. Robert E. Anderson

Anderson, who died in 2008, was director of University Health Service and then became a team physician at Michigan. He was part of the university staff from 1968-2003. The numerous lawsuits, including some filed by former Michigan football players, accuse Anderson of sexual abuse primarily during physicals at UM for their team athletics.

Michigan launched a police investigation shortly after former Michigan student Tad DeLuca wrote a letter in July 2018 to athletic director Warde Manuel and detailed alleged sexual abuse by Anderson.

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“Took a physical for every youth sport that I played and also when I was here in college for football, (had a) yearly physical,” Harbaugh said. “Never anything inappropriate or did I ever hear anything that was inappropriate about Dr. Anderson. Never experienced anything inappropriate, never heard any time where there was (anything) inappropriate by Dr. Anderson.”

Michigan recently widened its investigation and sent letters to 300,000 alumni who attended the university during Anderson’s tenure. Initially, the university had sent emails or letters to 7,000 former student-athletes.


Twitter: @chengelis