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Report: Ex-football player Jon Vaughn alleges abuse by former University of Michigan doctor

Matt Charboneau
The Detroit News

Jon Vaughn says he’ll always be a Michigan man, but what the former running back has been spending the last few months coming to terms with what happened to him nearly 30 years ago.

The running back who was co-Big Ten Offensive player of the year in 1990 while rushing for 1,487 yards and nine touchdowns is one of dozens of former Michigan athletes who have filed lawsuits against UM and the board of regents over alleged abuse by Robert E. Anderson, the former head of University Health Services and team physician for the Athletic Department from the 1960s to 2003. Anderson died in 2008.

Michigan running back Jon Vaughn was co-Big Ten Offensive player of the year in 1990 while rushing for 1,487 yards and nine touchdowns.

In an interview with The Undefeated, Vaughn, 50, talked about what he experienced in his three seasons on campus and how he’s dealing with it now.

“I’ve had to really come to terms that I was taken advantage of,” Vaughn told The Undefeated. “If you have something traumatic and you don’t deal with it — or if you didn’t know you went through trauma until 30 years later, it’s powerful. It was like, ‘Wow, how could this have happened to me?’ ”

More: Everything we know about the sexual abuse investigations at University of Michigan

Vaughn said he saw Anderson one-on-one “10 or 12 times” and that he was given testicular and rectal exams but did not question the procedures at the time.

“There was never a question of why,” Vaughn said. “Everyone was seeing Dr. Anderson, all my teammates. I just thought it was part of the Michigan way.”

Vaughn left Michigan to enter the 1991 NFL Draft after his redshirt sophomore season and played four seasons with New England, Seattle and Kansas City.

Asked how he feels now about Anderson, Vaughn said, “I think hate takes up too much energy, so realizing that I survived abuse, I survived molestation, the biggest question I want to know is why. That’s really what I want to know, because it’s up to me to do the healing that I need to do.”

mcharboneau@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @mattcharboneau