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MSU Trustee: Ex-Coach Perles Hopes to Make the Cut

by: Hy Dudgeon

Wed Aug 23, 2006 at 00:25:51 AM EDT

I'm a University of Michigan grad, but I also moved to this state from New Jersey, which had a comparable population but a terrible higher-education system. It was a standing joke in Jersey, and in many other states that accepted our state's exiles, that our number-one export was students. (Really, really cruel people argued that it was air pollution.) Having come to Michigan from such an educational backwater, I never understood the nasty, vicious hatred that Wolverine and Spartan fans heap on one another.

But this diary isn't about the Garden State, or the U-M-MSU rivalry, but who will govern America's pioneer land-grant university. And the race for seats on that university's board of trustees. I wish that the state where I grew up had such good universities.

Hy Dudgeon :: MSU Trustee: Ex-Coach Perles Hopes to Make the Cut
Earlier today, an AP story reported on the three-way race for the two GOP-controlled seats up for grabs this November.

George Perles, who coached the Spartan football team between 1983 and 1994 (and got them into the 1988 Rose Bowl), wants to be nominated, as a Democrat, for one of the two seats up this November.

Perles made his case to the AP:

"We're campaigning hard, but we'll see what happens at the convention," Perles said this week.

Perles noted he has been around the university either as a student, coach or administrator for most of the past 50 years.

"I could go from now 'til doomsday and never repay what the university has done for me," he said.

The other candidates for those seats are Faylene Owen and Mike Murphy, neither of whom coached the Spartans but have much to offer in their own right.

Owen is a prominent Democratic Party fund-raiser. Her husband, Larry, ran for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in 1998. The AP story had this to say about her:

"I feel Michigan State is our family's school," said Faylene Owen, who has had children and grandchildren — as well as her husband — attend the East Lansing university.

Representative Mike Murphy (D-Lansing), who is term-limted, is the third candidate. According to the AP:

"I think I bring something to the ticket," said Murphy, one of the few [African Americans] to serve on the Lansing City Council. Murphy said he has been focused on the Michigan State trustee seat but would be open to other possibilities if it would help the Democratic ticket.

There's nothing wrong with a contest at the state convention, especially when quality candidates face off--and may the best two win. The winners will face off against Republican incumbents Dolores Cook and David Porteous in November.

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Name recognition wins
Why is Martha Reeves on the Detroit City Council?  Oh yeah - name recognition wins. I'd rather have George Perles on the ticket than someone nobody knows.

Not so fast...
My husband worked with a guy who was in Perles' class at MSU and knew him fairly well.

I remember asking him what he thought about Perles when he was named head coach. The response was...

Some people are smart. Some people are tough. Some people are smart and tough. Perles is tough.

"The truth is rarely pure and never simple." The Importance of Being Earnest, Act I, Oscar Wilde, 1895

[ Parent ]
You hit that one on the head. Here was George's entire offensive strategy as MSU's head football coach: run the ball up the middle on every single play.

With that massive mellon of his you'd think the guy would have more going on upstairs. Unfortunately, that's just not the case.

Mike Murphy would be a great trustee.

The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few

[ Parent ]
Being tough and popular are not the same as being the right man for the job, as we all know. Remember, our not-so-intelligent president once polled in the eighties. Hell, even 33% is too high for a man of so little intelligence and so much arrogance.

Then again, remember Martha Reeves. Name recognition plays an important part in any campaign, especially in these 'down-the-ballot' races.

Now on Great Lakes, Great Times, Great Scott: Cotter vs. Jesus and Reagan

[ Parent ]
Please don't nominate Perles
I'm not saying this as a partisan, but as a Spartan Alum.

Anyone remember when MSU's football team was on probation in the early 90's during the end of the Perles years??

"He who would trade liberty for some temporary security, deserves neither liberty nor security" - Benjamin Franklin

Opinions are my own and not that of LCRP

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