George Perles Should Resign From Board of Trustees

George Perles Should Resign From Board of Trustees

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George Perles Should Resign From Board of Trustees

He’s lived a great, authentic Spartan life that’s been primarily dedicated to his alma mater.  It’s time for George Perles to do what’s right and open up his position on the MSU Board of Trustees.

Contact @crowleysullivan

George Perles was exactly what Michigan State needed.

In 1982.

After more than a decade in the wilderness due to the way the Duffy Daugherty Era limped to its conclusion and the draconian way in which the NCAA placated Woody Hayes by practically killing the program for rather pedestrian transgressions, the Spartan football program was about as low as it had ever been when Muddy Waters was dismissed as head coach after a futile three-year tenure as head coach.

George Perles came home to East Lansing as motivated as anyone could possibly be to rescue the program he knew to be capable of greatness at all times.

He stepped into a situation that called for heavy lifting, real skill, tireless recruiting, tireless preparation, a reinstallation of toughness, and an almost-maniacal focus that was all required if anyone was going to have anything to cheer about on Fall Saturdays in East Lansing again.

He was the only man for the job.

Step by step, George Perles did it.

Five years after telling all Spartans that he’d have Michigan State back in the Rose Bowl in five years, he had Michigan State back in the Rose Bowl.

When George Perles walked off of the field in Pasadena on January 1st, 1988, he had reached the pinnacle of his professional life and had restored Spartan Pride.

He would go on to win another Big Ten Championship in 1990 – a title that was punctuated by a never-to-be-forgotten upset victory over #1 ranked UMAA in Ann Arbor.

Nobody can ever dispute that Perles has a love and a commitment to his alma mater that is genuine and everlasting.

But there have been challenges along the way.

The sanctions he was responsible for during his time as head coach contributed to a crippling period that Nick Saban had to fight through.

The end of the Perles Era will be remembered for mediocre seasons combined with campus dysfunction and a strange and unnecessary period when Perles served as athletic director and head coach simultaneously (no doubt contributing to the mediocre performance of the football program).

While the Spartan community appreciates everything Perles has done for the university – and has demonstrated this by electing him to the Michigan State University Board of Trustees twice – Perles and the community need to recognize that it’s time for him to step down from his position on the Board.

George Perles will be 84 years old in July.

If he serves through the end of the term he is currently serving, he will be 88 years old.

Coach Perles suffers from Parkinson’s Disease and is mostly confined to a wheelchair.

He’s lived a great, big, authentic life.

And if I’m able to point to accomplishments of my own that even slightly compare to Perles’s when I’m 84 years old – particularly the amazing work Perles has done with the Special Olympics – I’ll consider myself a successful man.

But, as we’ve said many times at SpartansWire (and as we will continue to say), Michigan State must have the best, most capable, and most thriving people possible in positions of leadership – especially on the Board of Trustees – as the school and its community work to re-establish credibility, integrity, and a vision for the future following the horrific crimes that Larry Nassar committed on the Michigan State campus for twenty years, many of them while Perles has served on the Board.

George Perless deserves our gratitude.

He has earned our respect.

But he’d deserve even more gratitude and respect if he recognized that his contributions to his – our – alma mater would be better served at this stage of his life in areas other than the all-too-important position within the Board of Trustees.

It’s our hope here that George Perles recognizes that he should resign from his post on the Michigan State University Board of Trustees and that he should do so now.

I’ll be happy and proud to thank Perles for all that he’s done for our community.

I’ll be happy and proud to thank Perles for some of the best memories and experiences of my own life that are the result of his hard work with the football program.

I’ll be happy and proud to tell him how much I admire his commitment to his family and his faith.

And I’d be happy and proud to hug him and thank him for doing what everyone knows would be right – opening up his position for someone who can provide the daily expertise, vision, energy, and leadership that the school needs in 2018 and beyond.

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