The fallout from the Larry Nassar scandal and trial is hitting Michigan State in full force. After Mark Hollis, the school’s athletic director resigned early Friday morning, head coaches Tom Izzo (basketball) and Mark Dantonio (football) could resign, possibly in the next few days.
Hollis resigning comes as no surprise considering that after Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in a state prison in Michigan after pleading guilty to the sexual assault of minors, the Spartans were going to be taking a huge hit. Hollis has been the athletic director at East Lansing since 2008, while Nassar has done his devious deeds in Michigan State’s sports clinic for nearly two decades. Hollis hasn’t been named as one who knew about Nassar’s crimes; however there are a number of women saying that they alerted an athletic trainer, coach or staff psychologist about Nassar’s behavior and that no significant action was taken; some of these warning coming as early as 1997.
The school is one of several co-defendants in civil lawsuits, blamed that it didn’t do enough to stop Nassar despite allegations and warnings. Brian Mosallam, one of the school’s board of trustees, said: I’m so truly sorry. We have failed you.
While the rumor about Izzo and Dantonio isn’t coming from the most well respected of sources, it’s not beyond logic to think that these two coaches will prefer to walk away before things turn truly ugly for the school from both the legal standpoint and NCAA sanctions that will surely follow.
Dantonio himself addressed the allegations against 16 of his program’s players over the years, saying that he always reported complaints and accusations against him and Spartan football are false. Elsewhere, NBA teams have taken action against former MSU personnel involved in allegations, with Adrian Payne released from the Orlando Magic, and the Los Angeles Clippers releasing an assistant coach.
Dantonio has been the head coach for the Spartans since 2007, compiling a 100-45 record and 60-30 in the Big Ten. Twice named as the conference’s coach of the year, he has led the Spartans to 3 Big Ten titles, a Rose Bowl victory in 2013 and the College Football Playoff in 2015, losing in the semifinal.
Izzo, a hall of famer since 2006, has been the head coach for Michigan State since 1995. He led the Spartans to the national title in 2000, as well as the Final Four on six more occasions, the last of which in 2012. His titles include 7 Big Ten regular season titles, 5 Big Ten tournament titles, one coach of the year award (AP, 1998) and 3-time Big Ten coach of the year. He has won 71.5% of his games with Michigan State, currently leading them to an 18-3 season.