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East Lansing — Former Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis believes an ESPN report questioning how the MSU athletic department handled cases of sexual assault was “inaccurate, incomplete and misleading,” according an email he sent to athletic department staff.

Hollis, who announced his retirement on Jan. 26 in the wake of the Larry Nassar sexual assault scandal, sent an email to athletic department staff on Tuesday, thanking them for their efforts.

It is the first comment Hollis has made on the report, which state “complaints involving athletes were routinely investigated and handled by athletic director Hollis' department.”

In his email, Hollis disputed those claims.

“As I stated in my retirement announcement, my commitment to cooperate and be transparent with all investigations is in place and it always has been,” Hollis wrote. “In doing this, I can state with certainty that there were inaccurate, incomplete and misleading statements made and then reported by ESPN.”

Hollis’ email was delivered the same day interim president John Engler issued a statement calling the ESPN report “sensationalized.”

Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo said on Tuesday he saw part of Engler’s statement, adding that he agreed with the interim president. On Jan. 26, the day ESPN published its report, Michigan State football coach Mark Dantonio called accusations he handled a case on his own “completely false.”

Here is Hollis’ entire email:

Athletic Department Staff,

Before too much time passed, I am reaching out to you to say thank you. Your efforts for Michigan State University and the athletic department are valued by many people. This is a time we just all pull together with a unified focus aimed at enhancing a healthy and safe campus. I am forever grateful for your personal efforts toward that common community goal.

There are challenges that must be faced and addressed. The voices of brave survivors and the echoes from a supportive MSU student body and campus community rightfully call for a culture of optimum safety and calmness. I am confident that you will continue to be part of positively enhancing this way of life.

As I stated in my retirement announcement, my commitment to cooperate and be transparent with all investigations is in place and it always has been. In doing this, I can state with certainty that there were inaccurate, incomplete and misleading statements made and then reported by ESPN.

Nancy and I made the decision to retire. While we love serving Spartans and will miss all of you on a daily basis, we have confidence in you and your ability to continue to strive for the highest values.

Thank you again for your personal commitment to the university, community and student-athletse. We are grateful for the impact you have on our family and all Spartans.

Mark Hollis.

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