(97.1 The Ticket) Michigan State University Athletic Director Mark Hollis announced to a handful of reporters in his office Friday morning that he’s leaving the university.
This is a major domino to fall in the wake of the Larry Nassar scandal that saw 156 women testifying that the former doctor for Michigan State University and USA gymnastics molested them under the guise of medical treatment.
Several of the women said in various reports they had complained to the university and no action was taken.
The Associated Press reported that Hollis was asked why he would not stay on.
“Because I care,” Hollis said, holding back tears. “When you look at the scope of everything, that’s the reason I made a choice to retire now. And I hope that has a little bit, a little bit, of helping that healing process.”
While accepting no responsibility or blame, MSU President Lou Anna Simon stepped down the same day Nassar was sentenced to 175 years behind bars. Simon said she was leaving because the situation had become “politicized.”
Hollis, like Simon, is a Michigan State graduate. He has been the Spartans’ athletic director since 2008 and was chairman of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee last season. Hollis’ unique ideas include putting hockey and basketball games in football stadiums and a basketball game on an aircraft carrier.
One of his best friends is a Michigan State icon: Hall of Fame basketball coach Tom Izzo, the best man at his wedding and a former roommate.
The Michigan attorney general and the NCAA are reviewing how Michigan State handled the Nassar case.
A Title IX probe conducted by the university cleared Nassar of sexual assault allegations in 2014. He was, though, advised by the school to avoid being alone with patients while treating their “sensitive areas,” but the school didn’t follow up on and enforce its request. At least 12 reported assaults occurred after the investigation ended, according to a university police report that was provided to the FBI for review by the U.S. attorney.
Hollis told reporters he did not know about the 2014 investigation into Nassar’s actions, and he didn’t believe he had ever met him.