ANN ARBOR, Mich. — A statue on the University of Michigan campus of legendary football coach Glenn “Bo” Schembechler has been vandalized with paint, and a message supporting sexual assault victims of a former sports doctor has been scrawled on the steps beneath it.
A crew was working Wednesday to remove red paint splattered on the statue outside the Ann Arbor school’s football building, the Detroit Free Press reported.
Written in black on the steps was: “Bo knew #hailtothevictims.”
The university said Wednesday in a statement that the vandalism was under investigation.
A law firm hired by U-M found that officials failed to stop the late Dr. Robert Anderson, despite hearing reports that he sexually assaulted student athletes. The university is in mediation with lawyers who are seeking a financial settlement for 800-plus people, mostly men.
Former Michigan football players have said they told Schembechler in the 1970s about Anderson’s behavior during physical exams.
Schembechler’s son, Matt, has said he told his father that Anderson assaulted him as a child. Another son, Glenn, does not think his father was aware that Anderson was doing anything unacceptable during exams.
An email sent to the Free Press on Wednesday morning read, “This action is done in solidarity with the Hail to the Victims campaign,” according to the newspaper.
“Bo pulled strings and bent over backwards to ensure that Anderson could keep his job,” the email continued. “It is time for the world to know that Bo is responsible for the abuse of innumerable Michigan football players.”
Some have called for Schembechler’s statue to be taken down and his name removed from the football building.
Anderson retired in 2003 and died in 2008.
Schembechler, who died in 2006, is hailed as the greatest coach of college football’s winningest program. He led the Wolverines from 1969-89, won 194 games at the school, and had 234 victories including wins over six seasons at Miami of Ohio.