markhollis Michigan State University
Michigan State University Athletic Director Mark Hollis

Fallout from Nassar gymnast scandal continues with resignation of Michigan State University athletic director

Mark Hollis announces his departure from Michigan State University a day after President Lou Anna Simon quits

Michigan State University athletic director Mark Hollis has announced his resignation, just days after former university doctor Larry Nassar was sentenced for up to 175 years in prison for sexually assaulting dozens of young women, including some Michigan State student-athletes.

The Detroit News reports that Hollis has come under scrutiny in recent days as more than 150 victims in the Nassar case testified about the abuse they endured while the doctor was on the faculty at Michigan State.

Hollis's departure comes a day after longtime MSU President Lou Anna Simon announced that she was quitting because of fallout from the Nassar case.

Nassar was a faculty member at MSU's College of Osteopathic Medicine and a doctor for USA Gymnastics, the organization responsible responsible for selecting and training national teams for the Olympics. He worked for two decades with elite gymnasts, in addition to thousands of youth athletes and women and girls who saw him for other sports injuries.

The university has been bombarded with criticism from people who felt that officials should have taken action more quickly against Nassar. An investigation by The Detroit News found that at least 14 MSU representatives were made aware of reports of sexual misconduct by Nassar in the two decades before his arrest.

The NCAA says it plans to launch an investigation into Michigan State's athletic department and its handling of the Nassar case.

Nasser was sentenced earlier this week to serve 40 to 175 years in prison after he had pleaded guilty to seven counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. In December, he was sentenced in federal court to 60 years in prison on three child pornography charges. He also is awaiting sentencing later this month on three more sexual assault charges in Eaton County, Mich.

Hollis says his last day at MSU will be Wednesday and he doesn't plan on having any role with the university after that. He has been Michigan State’s athletic director since 2008.

A 1985 MSU graduate, Hollis returned to his alma mater in 1995 as the associate athletics director for external relations.

He is credited with developing some of college athletics’ most innovative events, such as the November 2011 basketball game between Michigan State and North Carolina that was played on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier.

 

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