Whistleblower Who Sparked Sex Abuse Probe Into Michigan Doctor Finds No Joy in Settlement

The University of Michigan agreed to a $490 million settlement split between more than 1,000 people who say a former university sports doctor sexually assaulted them.

However, Tad Deluca, a former University of Michigan wrestler and whistleblower whose letter started this investigation, said it won't address the deeper issues.

"The settlement is going to gloss things over so Michigan can go back to having a glossy block 'M' and look wonderful for the world, but the situation on campus is horrible," Deluca said during a telephone interview with the Associated Press.

Deluca first reported the sexual abuse in a letter in 1975 when he was a student at the university, then again in 2018—both of which were ignored.

Jonathan Vaughn University of Michigan
Jon Vaughn, former University of Michigan football player, protested the handling of the sex abuse investigation and demanding support and transparency for the other victims. Above, Vaughn speaks at a press conference on the University of Michigan campus on June 16, 2021. Vaughn and several dozen others accused the late Dr. Robert Anderson of sexually abusing or sexually assaulting them. Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

The university has been working through multiple lawsuits that said Dr. Robert Anderson sexually abused them during his 37-year career at the school.

According to university officials, individuals and their attorneys will figure out how to split $460 million, and the additional $30 million will be for any future claims.

Jordan Acker, chair of the University of Michigan Board of Regents, said he hopes the settlement can start the healing process for the survivors who were part of the case.

"At the same time, the work that began two years ago, when the first brave survivors came forward, will continue," Acker said.

During a Tuesday press conference, two former students, Keith Moree and Robert Stone, told reporters they hope the firing of Mark Schlissel as president of the university over the weekend will bring more accountability toward abuse victims.

"The University of Michigan has clearly demonstrated that it wants to do the minimum possible so that it can get out of the mess that it's made," Moree said.

The Board of Regents announced Schlissel was removed from his position over the weekend for having an inappropriate relationship with a university employee.

The University of Michigan's student-run website, The Michigan Daily, reported that many campus community members have drawn parallels between Schlissel's actions and the university's systemic problems concerning sexual allegations.

Tad DeLuca University of Michigan Anderson
Tad Deluca, whistleblower in the University of Michigan sex abuse case involving the late Dr. Robert Anderson, says the settlement won't address the deeper issues. Above, DeLuca speaks at a press conference on the University of Michigan campus on June 16, 2021, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Jonathan Vaughn—a former running back for the University of Michigan, NFL player and one of Anderson's victims—previously slept outside Schlissel's house protesting the handling of the investigation and demanding support and transparency for the other victims.

"The main reason I am doing this is I want to give all victims in this Dr. Anderson case a voice," Vaughn said to the Detroit News earlier this week.

Campus police discovered multiple complaints spanning Anderson's career as the university's Health Services director and physician for various athletic teams.

During this time, people included in the settlement say Anderson sexually abused them during medical exams. Earlier reports mention Anderson was called "Dr. Drop-your-drawers Anderson."