PHILADELPHIA — Bill Cosby resigned Monday as a trustee of Temple University following a string of allegations that accused him of drugging and sexually assaulting women over many years.
The 77-year-old entertainer has been a highly visible cheerleader of his beloved alma mater in Philadelphia and a board member since 1982.
“I have always been proud of my association with Temple University. I have always wanted to do what would be in the best interests of the university and its students. As a result, I have tendered my resignation from the Temple University Board of Trustees,” Cosby said in a statement released by the university.
Board chairman Patrick O’Connor, who accepted Cosby’s resignation, told The Associated Press that Cosby does not want to be a distraction to the board.
“The Board of Trustees accepts Dr. Cosby’s resignation from the board and thanks him for his service to the university,” the university said in its release.
O’Connor had defended Cosby in a civil suit filed by a former Temple basketball employee who accused Cosby of molesting her at his suburban Philadelphia mansion a year earlier. Cosby and the woman settled the lawsuit. More than a dozen other women have come forward since the lawsuit was filed to make similar claims, including several who have gone public this month.
Temple serves about 38,000 undergraduate and graduate students.