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Mark Hollis' wife wants MSU Trustees to release emails related to Larry Nassar investigation

Matt Charboneau
The Detroit News

Nancy Hollis, the wife of former Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis, called on the university’s Board of Trustees on Friday to release more than 6,000 emails related to the Larry Nassar investigation, and in the process, called into question the hiring of Bill Beekman, MSU’s current athletics director.

Bill Beekman

Hollis addressed the Board during public comments at Friday’s monthly meeting, singling out Board chair Diane Byrum as well as trustees Brian Mosallam and Renee Knake Jefferson, questioning them for their refusal to release the documents that have been requested by the Michigan Attorney General’s office.

The MSU Board has claimed attorney-client privilege in its decision to not release the documents.

“Five of you on the Board announced you would read these emails,” Hollis said. “Now there is silence from you. What was the purpose of reading these emails? Miss Knake, you are an ethics specialist, and you announced last year that you would read these emails. You must have something to say. Mr. Mosallam, you, too, said you would reconvene the Board and discuss the next steps every after reading these emails. Yet, there's just a silence from you as another year has passed. Take action and call for a vote.”

Mark Hollis retired as athletic director in January of 2018 as the effects of the Nassar investigation were beginning to impact the university. Beekman, the Board secretary, was named athletic director in July 2018.

Nancy Hollis said the unreleased emails would shed light onto that hiring process, one that she criticized.

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“Legacy members of this Board approved and endorsed the prior administration's vice president, and your very own secretary to this board of trustees, as first the interim president, and then on to his current position as athletics director,” Nancy Hollis said. “I believe his role within the administration should be disclosed by the release of the over 6,000 emails you're withholding. This Board strongly endorsed and vocally supported this hire with apparent disregard for transparency and accountability. Miss Byrum, I call on you to answer for this hire and share with the public what you told me in our phone conversation last year.”

Byrum disputed the details of her conversation with Hollis, but said she supported the hiring of Beekman and said Beekman complied with the Nassar investigation.

“I don’t recall the exact conversation, but I can say that I wouldn’t have told her anything that I haven't publicly stated," Byrum told reporters. “Beyond that, I have no idea what Nancy Hollis is talking about.”

mcharboneau@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @mattcharboneau