(WSYM) — The family of Bo Schembechler has released a statement responding to allegations made by Matt Schembechler that the legendary Michigan Head Football Coach knew about and did not stop abuse by Dr. Robert Anderson.
The statement reads as follows:
There are many ways to take the measure of a man, especially one as scrutinized as Bo Schembechler. You can judge him by his coaching record, the wins and losses give the illusion of a tidy summary. You could look at him by looking at the caliber of the people he surrounded himself with over his four decades of coaching, the teams, coaches, and staff who played for and worked with him, many of whom never fell out of touch with Bo. You could assess him through the testimonials of many of those individuals who have in recent days spoken out in defense of his memory and legacy. Perhaps you could get a sense of Bo Schembechler by talking to the hundreds – thousands more likely – of people whose lives were enriched by his enduring presence long after their playing days were over.
We, however, measure Bo Schembechler by different standards, as a devoted husband and a father. We remember him in those intimate family moments that pass unnoticed to others but are indelibly stamped in our memories. We remember him at moments of celebration shared with the world, but also during quiet moments of advice and counsel. We remember that – even during the height of the season – Bo would come home for dinner to share stories of what had happened to him that day and to ask about our days.
That Bo Schembechler was, and remains, deserving of our admiration and our love. It is telling to us that Bo never spoke to any of us about inappropriate behavior by Dr. Anderson. To the contrary, in our steadfast opinion, Bo was not aware of such conduct and assumed that any procedures were medically appropriate. As he demonstrated at many points in his career and to us as a family, Bo had a clear and compelling sense of right and wrong: he would not have tolerated misconduct, especially toward any of his players, family members, coaches or to anyone associated with the University of Michigan’s football program. If Bo had known of inappropriate conduct, we are certain that he would have stopped it immediately, reported it, and had Dr. Anderson removed from the University.
Some will argue that the absence of proof is not definitive in situations such as these, but it is noteworthy that a 240-page report done by an outside, independent law firm retained by the University to look into Dr. Anderson’s conduct examined similar allegations but did not substantiate those claims.
As painful as the last few days have been, we are confident the facts – and the truth – will ultimately win the day. We are confident that the veracity of each accuser will be examined, and that appropriate weight will be given to the sad reality that one of our family members has been for decades estranged from us and has on numerous occasions made unfounded and false accusations against Bo and other family members including pursuing legal actions that have been repeatedly rejected.
Bo Schembechler was father and husband. A devoted Christian. He was inspiring, demanding, loyal, a fierce defender of his extensive family and a taskmaster who pushed everyone around him to be better, to be the best version of themselves possible. He pushed himself harder than anyone. He believed in integrity, honesty and kindness; he despised dishonesty and cruelty. His accomplishments – and the positive impact he had in the lives of so many people around him – are examples to study and to emulate. We are grateful to everyone who has stepped forward to defend his memory. We are proud to bear his name and to bear witness for a life well-lived.
Glenn E. “Shemy” Schembechler III
You can read the official statement below: