EAST LANSING — Michigan State is expected to name Greg Ianni as interim athletic director, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.
Ianni, the athletic department’s deputy athletic director, is expected to replace Mark Hollis, who announced his retirement Friday.
Joel Ferguson, after a contentious MSU Board of Trustees meeting to announce John Engler as the university’s interim president, said he and his fellow trustees “haven’t got there” in terms of naming a temporary athletic department leader.
No official announcement of Ianni’s promotion was made. However, administration sources confirmed the planned move to the Free Press on Wednesday, the day which Hollis’ retirement is set to take effect.
“It’s just getting this first step today,” Ferguson said. “We’re in a straight line from this today day. It’s all about John Engler.”
Ianni has run the athletic department’s day-to-day operations while Hollis was on the road with NCAA committees and other responsibilities. The 64-year-old Ianni also is in charge of athletic facilities and improvements, event management for all sports and as the sport administrator for daily operations of football and men’s basketball.
A 1975 MSU alum, Ianni has been in the athletic department since 1993. He played baseball at MSU from 1972-73, and his two children – Allison (volleyball) and Anthony (men’s basketball) – also were Spartan athletes.
Engler, the former governor, did not specifically answer a question about the current status of the athletic department leadership or his opinion on the ESPN article that was released Friday. That story implicated football coach Mark Dantonio and basketball coach Tom Izzo for their handling of allegations of sexual assault and violence against women by their players.
“I don’t know because I haven’t talked to anybody over at the athletic department,” Engler said. “I haven’t talked to anybody in the legal team here. I haven’t talked to anyone in the Title IX office. On all of these investigations, I have yet to have the first conversation with the people who are involved with them, handling them and responding to them. But I will be doing that in the coming days.”
Hollis’ retirement announcement Friday came amid the blowback of the Larry Nassar case and hours before ESPN’s report criticized his role in handling an alleged sexual assault involving two MSU basketball players and a student assistant coach in April 2010.
In the ESPN story, Hollis and current senior associate athletic director/athletic department chief of staff Alan Haller reportedly met with MSU basketball coaches and players to discuss the allegations “several weeks” after they were made. No police report was filed and no one reported the alleged assault to the Title IX office, according to ESPN.