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MSU trustee’s son denies Larry Nassar cover-up allegations, says Perles won’t resign

Plaque on the door of the MSU Board of Trustees
Cheyna Roth

Former Michigan State University head football coach and athletic director George Perles denies he ever worked to cover up sexual assault allegations against Larry Nassar in 1992.

That’s according to Pat Perles, George’s son.

“As my mom says, the truth is its own defense. I don’t need to defend ourselves. The truth will come out. And that’s basically their attitude,” Pat Perles said.

“They feel something like this – it being false – really waters down the pain and the suffering that these poor ladies have been through and will continue to go through,” Perles said. “It discredits their suffering a small bit and that is the shame of the matter.”

The lawsuit filed in federal court Mondayalleges Larry Nassar drugged and raped a 17-year-old student while Nassar was pursing his osteopathic medical degree.

The 44-year old woman, named Erika Davis, graduated from MSU in 1994. She claims she told her field hockey coach at the time, Martha Ludwig, and that she told Perles during a meeting in the spring of 1992.

“(George) does not remember having the meeting because the meeting never occurred,” Pat Perles said.

Michigan Radio has been unable to reach Davis, her former coach, or her attorney for comment.

Pat Perles also points out factual errors in the legal complaint that “create holes… big enough for a truck to drive through.” There are discrepancies about when Perles was the athletic director and about Larry Nassar’s employment status, as two examples.

“Initially, as you read the headlines it was quite, I don’t know if startling is the right word, but it was quite an eye opener. But as you peel back the onion there’s some very basic, researchable facts that are wrong,” Perles said.

Perles says his father is not speaking to the media at the direction of MSU, but has no intention of stepping down from his elected position as a Michigan State University trustee. He says George Perles first learned of the allegations against Larry Nassar when the rest of the board did in 2016.

Lindsey Smith is a Peabody Award-winning journalist currently leading the station's Amplify Team. She previously served as Michigan Public's Morning News Editor, Investigative Reporter and West Michigan Reporter.
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