Mike Cox is a former prosecutor and served as Michigan’s 52nd Attorney General. He obtained both his undergraduate and law degree from the University of Michigan after serving in the U.S. Marine Corps. He currently runs a private practice firm which takes clients with a wide variety of case types.
In this episode, Mike Morse and Kevin Dietz sit down with Mike Cox to learn more about his career and talk about his current work. Mike Cox represents over fifty “John Doe” sexual abuse claims against a University of Michigan doctor. There has been a widespread cover-up of this doctor’s illegal behavior for decades and the situation was recently exposed in a Detroit News article. This episode dives deep into specific case details and analyzes the trend of sexual assault cases in college athletics.
[00:38] Introducing today’s guest, Mike Cox
[02:40] Cox talks about his cases when he was Oakland County Prosecutor
[04:13] Cox explains his transition to the private sector after gubernatorial race
[04:40] Did you like being a prosecutor for the Wayne County homicide department?
[08:12] Cox discusses his time as Michigan’s Attorney General
[10:37] What work is Cox now involved in? A mixed bag!
[12:38] The difference between state and federal prosecution
[13:32] How did Cox get involved in the University of Michigan case?
[15:21] Cox explains the details of the case against University of Michigan and Dr. Robert E. Anderson
[16:00] In the fall of 1968, the first complaint against Dr. Anderson was filed
[17:02] In the guise of medical treatment, Dr. Anderson would perform illegal sex acts on patients
[17:30] Cox outlines an example from 1975 in which a student filed a 10-page letter complaint against Dr. Anderson and the school took the student athlete’s scholarship away
[18:05] University of Michigan fired Dr. Anderson in the Fall of 1979
[18:55] The Athletic Director at the time rehired him and moved him over to athletic department full time
[19:30] In order to coverup the fact that Dr. Anderson was fired over sexual assault complaints, the university lied and said he resigned from his original position
[20:00] Hundreds, perhaps thousands were abused until 2003
[21:00] There is a cultural comparison to the coverup in the Catholic church regarding priests and sexual abuse
[21:17] There are two large coverups: the coverup at the time and the current administration’s coverup
[23:17] Long silence until the Detroit News exposed the abuse
[25:50] The University of Michigan Regents should take more responsibility and action
[26:55] Tom Brady was an athlete at University of Michigan during this time
[27:30] What kind of institution does the University of Michigan want to be?
[28:46] Did any of the men go to the police originally?
[29:09] The details of the doctor’s crimes
[30:30] The power dynamic between doctor and athlete because the doctor had the authority to determine if the athletes were going to play their sports and keep their scholarships
[31:20] Dr. Anderson was never sued prior to this
[32:15] Many students thought the doctor’s intimate medical evaluations were “part of playing at the University of Michigan” because it was a rigorous community
[33:50] How do so few people have so much power in university communities?
[34:34] University of Michigan President Schlissel’s lack of accountability
[36:19] Is this case too old to go to trial? What is the statute of limitations?
[36:38] For the university it’s not that they think the plaintiffs are lying, it’s about lowering the amount they have to pay
[38:04] Fraudulent concealment of the truth
[39:13] Are men less likely to come forward?
[41:38] Do you see this becoming a class action lawsuit?
[42:42] Mike Cox states that he only represents athletes in this case
[43:25] “This has been coming for 18 months”
[45:05] The lawsuit isn’t just about damages for our clients, but about changing the way these things are handled so it’s not repeated for future generations
[46:35] The difference between the Penn State case and cases of Michigan State and University of Michigan
[46:50] It’s not just a Big Ten issue but a nationwide collegiate issue
[47:21] Are there going to be changes in the law to prevent this?
[49:05] Michigan must look at how they treat Freedom of Information Act requests
[50:44] You can’t “FOIA” the legislature or governor’s office in Michigan
[51:50] Concluding Thoughts
Check out more about Mike Cox!