Michigan State University Trustee George Perles has resigned. The 84-year-old cited family as well as health challenges in his resignation letter to the university.
The resignation also comes more than two months after news broke of a lawsuit alleging Perles covered up a rape allegation involving a university field hockey player and former sports doctor Larry Nassar in 1992. Perles was MSU Athletics Director that year. He has denied that allegation.
According to an MSU press release, Gov. Rick Snyder’s office has been notified of the resignation. The governor will make an appointment in the near future.
Perles’ term runs through 2022.
Trustee Dianne Byrum says the timing surprised her, saying “I was surprised that it came at the end of the year and not the beginning of the year if he was considering resignation.”
Perles played football at Michigan State in the 1950's and later went into coaching. He returned to MSU as head football coach from 1983 through 1994, winning two Big Ten Conference championships. He became the university's athletic director in 1990 while remaining head football coach. He resigned as athletic director's job in 1992.
A Democrat, he was first elected to the Board of Trustees in 2006. He was re-elected to a second eight-year term is 2014.