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George Perles - RIP

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by BitterYoungMatador2, Jan 8, 2020.

  1. BitterYoungMatador2

    BitterYoungMatador2 Well-Known Member

  2. Liut

    Liut Well-Known Member

  3. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    Perles, Fry, Bruce, Mallory ... been a run of 1980s-era Big Ten football coaches leaving us in the last two years.
  4. cyclingwriter2

    cyclingwriter2 Well-Known Member

    I forgot he had spent almost a decade coaching with the Steelers.
  5. Jake from State Farm

    Jake from State Farm Well-Known Member

    He won a Rose Bowl and helped Michigan State rebound from the Muddy Waters disaster but in the end he stayed too long
  6. Scout

    Scout Well-Known Member

    The man got Bubba Smith in college and Joe Greene in the pros.

  7. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    Well yeah but there was even a clusterfuck of controversy surrounding his arrival from the USFL when he lied a couple different times regarding his contract status trying to squeeze more money out of MSU. Essentially MSU ended up having to buy Perles out of his Philly Stars contract plus also buy out his assistants as well (very uncommon at the time) IIRC these 37-38 years later.
    (Of course this worked out great for the Stars, who used the money to replace Perles with Jim Mora.)

    Also the Muddy Waters "disaster" was in significant part the result of active sabotage and sandbagging on the part of disgruntled Perles boosters on the board of trustees who were bitter Perles had not gotten the job in 1980 and set out to cut Waters' throat from day one.
    Waters was put on a nickel and dime shoestring budget guaranteed for failure; his assistant salaries ranked no. 9 in the Big Ten (just ahead of Northwestern which was not operating a D1 program at the time).
    Every day of his tenure, Waters begged and pleaded with tears in his eyes for a dedicated football practice building, as Darryl Rogers had before him. The trustees told him to go play in the freeway.
    The minute Perles' ticket was punched, the football building started going up.
    In fact as I recall the lack of a football building and other budget constraints were the major factor in 1980 when Perles was supposedly a top contender for the job when Rogers bolted for Arizona State a couple weeks before national signing day.
    Supposedly Perles had "informally" agreed to the job -- to the point a presser was scheduled, and called off with less than 90 minutes notice -- then proceeded to make several or-else ultimatums, leaving MSU in a panic situation with no coach and in desperation they grabbed loyal alumnus Waters as a last-ditch option.
    The pro Perles contingent sat back and said, "sit tight George, you can keep collecting those NFL assistant checks, in the meantime we'll tighten the noose around the football program budget until in two or three years it reaches utter disaster, then we can convince the rest of the board it's time to go big time in football again, open up the checkbook, then you can come riding in on a white horse just as Santa Claus slides down the chimney with everything you want."

    The pro-Perles contingent also pushed along this game plan by continually planting preposterously transparent "insider leaks" in the media recounting episodes of the feeble senile doddering Waters supposedly nodding off during games and calling out the names of his college teammates from the 1940s to go in at tailback. At the time the supposedly ancient doddering Waters was 56-58 years old.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2020
    X-Hack likes this.
  8. Jake from State Farm

    Jake from State Farm Well-Known Member

    I blame the Waters situation on Daryl Rogers and Joe Kearney leaving like thieves in the night for Arizona State more than anything else
    There also was Perles’ stint as a MSU trustee and his failed reach to take the AD job
    But considering some of the characters in that job before and since there were a lot worse than George
  9. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    Kearney and Rogers' sudden departure was the match that set it all off for sure, but probably the deep down root cause was the trustees/administration's failure to capitalize on Rogers' good seasons in 1977-78 as well as the Magic Johnson basketball championship, by cutting the athletic budget.
    When that happened Kearney and Rogers were ripe to be picked and the seeds were planted for a situation of desperation Perles could use to leverage the trustees to meet his every demand, which he did, time and again and again, over a time span of 25+ years.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2020
  10. LanceyHoward

    LanceyHoward Well-Known Member

    The obituary says that he just resigned as a member of the Board of Trustees, after the board wiped out a $200,000 debt Perles owed the school. What is that about?
  11. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    Student loans are a bitch?
    cyclingwriter2 likes this.
  12. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    (Shakes head wearily)

    Tell you the truth, I really quit paying real close attention to it the past several years, but as nearly as I remember the deal (which was pretty hazy from the beginning), Perles had made a hefty donation (I believe reported to be about a million to be spread out in payments over several years) to the football program to build an addition to his beloved football building. In exchange the addition was to be named after Perles and his wife.
    That in itself is not unusual in college athletics.
    Anyway the accounts I have heard generally say Perles suffered considerable losses in the great economic meltdown, and the six figure payments which previously had been chicken change for him, became too much to handle. It wasn't that he was living in a box eating ramen noodles, it was just that he didn't have hundreds of thousands in spare cash sitting around any more.
    The normal sequence in an event like this might be to go to court to try to get the payments, renegotiate the payments over a longer period (probably not a real feasible option for a subject in their 70s-80s) or failing that, to strip the names off the football building and sell them off to somebody else.
    All the options were considered unacceptably embarrassing to a beloved university icon, so it was decided to just leave the names alone and write off the final $200,000.

    I don't think that really had much or anything to do with his resignation from the board of trustees; basically he was just physically unable to do much anymore. He had been visibly physically declining for five years and more. Plus the continuing Larry Nassar disaster made trustee service a lot less enjoyable for pretty much everybody.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2020
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