EAST LANSING - Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis has stepped down Friday in the wake of the Larry Nassar scandal.
A source with knowledge of the situation confirmed Hollis' intention to the Free Press on Friday morning. Hollis held a news conference minutes later to confirm he is retiring.
Hollis: "I've always been a Spartan, and I always will be. It's been an absolute honor to guide the athletic dept for a decade." Announces his retirement.— Chris Solari (@chrissolari) January 26, 2018
Hollis' voice cracking as he is delivering his statement. "Let me be clear, in retirement, I will fully cooperate" with investigations into MSU by NCAA and Michigan attorney general office.— Chris Solari (@chrissolari) January 26, 2018
Hollis says he and his wife Nancy may help process of MSU healing. Says he was not asked to retired, nor was pressured "in any way" to retire. "This is a choice Nancy and I made. And we're gonna move forward with our lives and see what's around the corner."— Chris Solari (@chrissolari) January 26, 2018
Hollis has been athletic director since he took over for Ron Mason on Jan. 1, 2008. He is a 1985 MSU alum.
Hollis’ resignation comes days after Larry Nassar, the former USA Gymnastics doctor who also was employed by Michigan State, was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison for sexually abusing more than 150 girls and young women, including some MSU athletes.
The NCAA sent a letter of inquiry to MSU on Tuesday, announcing an investigation into MSU’s handling of the Nassar allegations, and Hollis said in a statement Wednesday that MSU would "cooperate with any investigation."
“Since my first day on the job as athletic director, my focus has always been on the student-athlete," Hollis said Wednesday. "They are at the core of our athletic department mission statement,” Hollis said. “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.”
Hollis, the 2012 athletic director of the year, had a significant impact on MSU sports during his tenure, especially with taking men's basketball to bigger and better venues.
Hollis was key in creating the PK80 basketball tournament in Portland, Ore., in honor of Nike founder Phil Knight. And in 2003, before he was athletic director, he helped organize a nationally broadcast game between Kentucky and Michigan State at Ford Field.
Hollis, who worked in the athletic department since 1995, also was chairman of the NCAA basketball tournament selection committee in 2017.
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