Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis has resigned in the wake of the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal that culminated this week with Nassar being sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison, the Detroit Free Press is reporting.
Nassar, who served as a team doctor both at MSU and for USA Gymnastics, faced scores of accusers — including Olympic gold medalists — during his trial that ended Wednesday.
Hollis, a 1985 MSU graduate, had served in the school’s athletic department since 1995 and replaced Ron Mason as athletic director on Jan. 1, 2008. Widely respected among his peers, Hollis earned athletic director of the year recognition in 2012 and chaired the NCAA basketball tournament selection committee last year.
He was known for elevating the fan experience by staging MSU sporting events in alternative venues and championing the social connectivity capabilities within sports facilities on the East Lansing campus.
According to the Free Press, the NCAA on Tuesday alerted MSU to an investigation into the university’s handling of the allegations surrounding Nassar. In response, Hollis stated on Wednesday, “Since my first day on the job as athletic director, my focus has always been on the student-athlete. They are at the core of our athletic department mission statement. Our first priority has always been and will always be their health and safety. In regards to the letter we received from the NCAA last night, the athletic compliance and university general counsel offices are preparing a comprehensive response.”
As news of the Hollis resignation broke this morning, USA Today sports columnist Dan Wolken tweeted, “Mark Hollis was regarded almost universally as a top-five AD and perhaps a candidate to be the next Big Ten commissioner. Now that’s all gone.”