Ex-Michigan tight end Chuck Christian says he was abused


FILE – This undated file photo provided by the Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan shows Dr. Robert E. Anderson. The University of Michigan said Tuesday, April 7, 2020, it is sending a letter to thousands of former student-athletes, asking them to speak with investigators from a law firm it hired to lead a probe into Anderson, a deceased doctor accused of molesting people going back decades. Many men say they were molested by Anderson while seeking treatment for various injuries. Anderson, who died in 2008, worked at the university for decades until his retirement in 2003. (Robert Kalmbach/Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan via AP)

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — The first former Michigan football player to publicly say that a team doctor abused him believes he would have sought medical help sooner for what has become late-stage cancer if he hadn’t been victimized in college.

Chuck Christian, a 60-year-old artist in suburban Boston, said during a videoconferencing interview Wednesday that the late Dr. Robert Anderson gave him unnecessary rectal exams before he played for the Wolverines during 1977-80 seasons.

Christian said he has stage 4 prostate cancer that could have been treated sooner and more effectively if he wasn’t emotionally scarred by Anderson’s annual physicals.

“I’m kind of surprised that nobody else (from the football program) has spoken out,” Christian told The Associated Press. “For me, it’s made an even bigger impact because I wouldn’t go see a doctor because of Dr. Anderson.

“And because I didn’t go to the doctor, my prostate issues went from being a prostate issue to prostate cancer,” he said.

Christian, who is represented by attorney Michael Wright, is one of hundreds of University of Michigan graduates who allege that Anderson molested them under the guise of that the abuse was a normal part of the physicals they had to get in order to participate in sports.

Wright said he represents more than 120 people, including others who played football and basketball at the school, who have potential claims against Anderson and the school for not protecting student-athletes from him.

The Ohio-based lawyer said he has had multiple conversations with the University of Michigan’s general counsel and is trying to reach an out-of-court agreement on behalf of his clients.

More than two months ago, the school in Ann Arbor revealed it was investigating multiple allegations of abuse against Anderson, who died in 2008.

The revelations at Michigan echo other high-profile allegations and investigations of sexual abuse made by patients of sports doctors at other universities, including Michigan State, Ohio State and the University of Minnesota.

Christian, who was born in Mississippi and raised in Detroit, played tight end for the late Bo Schembechler and closed his playing career by helping Michigan win the 1981 Rose Bowl.

Although Christian said Anderson’s actions were widely known decades ago by players, he does not think anyone shared their concerns with Schembechler.

“I can’t imagine coach Schembechler knowing something like that, and allowing it to happen to his players,” he said. “I just I just can’t even fathom that.”


Follow Larry Lage on Twitter: https://twitter.com/LarryLage

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Coronavirus News

More Coronavirus

Trending Stories

Don't Miss

Your Local Election HQ

More Election

Local Sports

Training Camp Report: Defense holds in two minute, Love up and down

Blizzard Report

Timber Rattlers shutout by Cedar Rapids in series finale

Blizzard Report; Green Bay falls to Bismarck on the road

Booyah's rally falls short against Madison, 3-2.

Quinn Finley represents Green Bay in Team USA