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Archive for January 24, 2022

Jan. 24, 2022 — A situation infinitely worse than the Larry Nasar situation. And more to come?

I didn’t want to go much further without amplifying a decision that came down last week. The decision was that the University of Michigan would set up a nearly half-billion fund to settle more than 1,000 cases of sexual abuse dating back to the 1960s, all traceable to sports doctor Robert Anderson.

The pool of 1,000, mostly men, will share in about $490 million, according to figures released by the Detroit News.

The alleged abuses began in the late 1960s and continued until the controversy emerged two years ago. This makes the Anderson scandal was a larger and more pervasive sexual abuse stain than the reign of terror by Larry Nasar, the doctor who abused student-athletes at Michigan State University.

As was the case at MSU, the Michigan situation has resulted in significant resignations within the university. Last weekend, University of Michigan president Mark Schlissel was forced from his job. While the precipitating event for the dismissal was an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate, his handling of the Anderson matter was cited as a contributing factor.

There are other shoes that will certainly drop when it comes to sexual abuse by medical professionals within college athletic departments. Lawsuits in Ohio addressing past abuse by a doctor named Richard Strauss are still outstanding, despite a $40 million settlement announced a couple of years ago.

One reason is some of the extreme differences between the way Ohio State University addressed claims and the way that Michigan and Michigan State addressed theirs. While the amounts of money in the Michigan cases range in the hundreds of millions of dollars, the OSU pool of money is a mere fraction. There is also a move to un-table a bill in the Ohio legislature to reform the definition of the statute of limitations in cases of sex abuse.

I have a feeling this will get a lot worse.