One-on-One with former MSU AD Mark Hollis Part 2

“It more than ate me up inside”
One-on-One interview with Mark Hollis to discuss emotional toll
Published: Sep. 2, 2020 at 6:55 PM EDT
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DETROIT, Mich. (WILX) - Former Michigan State University Athletic Director Mark Hollis says he didn’t do anything wrong. He’s clearing the air after retiring in the midst of the biggest scandal the university has ever seen.

For two and a half years, Hollis has watched and waited for some transparency on the university’s end in regards to the Larry Nassar scandal. News Ten’s Ann Emmerich sat down with him in Detroit where he said his silence during the scandal took a toll on his health.

Mark Hollis: “It more than ate me up inside. I think that’s the thing that only very few close friends kind of understood. The impact that a situation can have on a person. You know, in no way, and those that know me when you talk about integrity, in no way was there ever a question of integrity on my part. That wasn’t always seen, understandably so by many people on the outside because they read what they read, they saw me retire, and that’s all they had to base their opinions of me and my family.”

Ann Emmerich: “Knowing you, because I’ve known you for many years, so we will be perfectly up front about that. Your family was invested in Michigan State. Your wife Nancy went to Michigan State. You were a student manager for Judd Heathcoate. Your lives have revolved around Michigan State. Your children all went to Michigan State.”

Mark Hollis: “That’s what makes part of this process so painful was to see some of the choices and some of the decisions that the university was making, you know decisions that I didn’t necessarily agree with. But when you’re in the role that you’re in, you don’t have much of a choice other than to continue on, or retire.”

Ann Emmerich: “It was a decision that you and Nancy made, from what I understand. But did other people try to influence you?”

Mark Hollis: “Mark Dantonio and Tom Izzo came to my office that morning. Melanie Foster came to my office that morning. When I make a decision, I make a decision and my decision was made. It was wonderful to have that outreach."

“I called Commissioner Delaney and made sure he understood why. I had a meeting with student athletes, a group that I met with once or twice a month the night before. And you know, I’m an emotional guy, I broke down, that night."

“I had people around talking to me, asking me not to go, but I felt, there were a lot of reasons. One, was me and my health. But one was, I felt change had to happen for the university that Nancy and I both love, to move forward.”

Hollis and his wife Nancy have moved on from East Lansing to Detroit, where he’s taking on a new challenge working for billionaire businessman Dan Gilbert.

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