The MSU board of directors meets after the resignation of President Lou Anna Simon to announce the appointment of an interim president.
Robert Killips | Lansing State Journal
EAST LANSING – Michigan State University board member George Pearls has resigned with immediate effect.
"Michigan State University has been my home and my family's home for nearly 65 years," writes Pearl in his resignation letter. He cited compromised mobility and life with the effects of Parkinson's disease
The chairman of the board, Brian Breslin, said in a press release that he had known George for many years and that his dedication to the university was second to none.
"He cares deeply about people here and has worked selflessly over the years – whether as a player, coach, sports director or board member – to push MSU to its greatest potential. . "
Pearls played football at the MSU in the 1950s and coached the Spartans from 1982 to 1994, leading the team to victory at the 1988 Rose Bowl.
He was first elected to the Board of Directors in 2007. His current term expires on January 1, 2023.
Pearls was elected Democrat. His resignation means that outgoing Republican Governor Rick Snyder can name his replacement.
The governor's office has been informed and plans to make an appointment in the near future, the statement said.
In a civil suit filed in September, a former Michigan State University field hockey player said she was raped by former MSU doctor Larry Nassar in 1992 and that Pearls had concealed the assault.
Erika Davis said in the lawsuit filed in federal court in Grand Rapids that she had told her trainer, Martha Ludwig, that Nassar had raped her and that Ludwig had confronted Nassar about what s & # 39; Had passed and had requested and received a video recording of the assault. Pearls forced Ludwig to return the video, resign and sign a confidentiality agreement, in accordance with the lawsuit.
Pearson's lawyer, Patrick Hickey, wrote in September that his client "categorically denies the allegations made about him in Erika Davis' recent civil suit."
Pearl wrote in his letter of resignation: "It is no secret that I have lived with a number of health problems. Despite the limitations, I have continued to support the university and stay focused on fulfilling my commitments as an attorney. "
In his letter, Perles reported that he had met his wife on campus and then returned to campus to fill his "dream job" as the MSU's head coach of football and for a short time. period as the sports director of the university.
Pearls became the MSU's football head coach in 1982, leading the team to a 1988 win at the Rose Bowl and adding sports director responsibilities in 1990. In the spring of 1992, he ceded the position of Sports Director at Merrily Dean Baker.
Pearl remained the head coach of MSU football until 1994. Two years later, the NCAA imposed monetary penalties for breaking the rules, including cash payments to recruits and school fraud. MSU lost five wins in the 1994 football season and was placed on probation for four years.
No evidence was found that Pearls was aware of the misdeeds. In September 1996, Pearls told the Detroit Free Press that he "had challenged anyone to investigate a program with a 12-year-old coach and not to find some problems."
In his letter, he writes, "At this point, I think Sally deserves a break. We need to make our lives smaller as we get older and take into account our quality of life. Our family has bled green and white for most of our lives. It's time to step back and allow the next generation to carry the MSU's torch. "
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