Answering Your Michigan State Athletics Email Questions...

Hondo S. Carpenter

Hondo I was in a car with someone and they had on the radio a local long time sports guy. He said that the Spartans will build a new arena rather then redo Munn. Do you agree? Keith

No Keith they are not going to build a new arena. They will spend roughly $15 million to redo Munn. They already have to sink millions into it to renovate the system that makes and maintains the ice because of new environmental laws that have made it outdated. For the foreseeable future MSU hockey will be in Munn.

Hondo your Tweets lately about Mark Hollis and his salary are disturbing. Is MSU in danger of losing him if President Simon and the board don’t do something? Tom

Frankly, yes! Hollis won’t hold them hostage. That isn’t his style. He is a blue collar guy and not one to hold people hostage for more money. MSU almost lost him to North Carolina who made a strong push for him in the near past and I know of one private company that is eyeing him also now. It would be a job that would make him a millionaire immediately if he took it. 

Rest assured you can count on loyalty from him, but the man is the 10th out of 12 B1G AD’s in salary and that is a joke. A JOKE. 


The President and the BOT should be embarrassed. MSU athletics is a stand-alone entity and it is punted and treated like a political football. Let me just say that the leadership of MSU doesn’t want me to tell the story of athletics and what in my opinion (and many share my thoughts) is hurting it. 


As long as Hollis does things right, wins, balances his budget and does his job he should be left alone. Left alone. Not micro managed or having someone looking over his shoulder and second-guessing him. He is the single most important person right now in MSU athletics. More than Izzo more than Dantonio more than anyone, Hollis is the heart and soul of MSU athletics.


He took over a department in terrible financial shape and has not only made it profitable it has thrived. MSU can afford to pay him much better. He should be paid like his peers around the nation that run stand-alone entities with no University help.


Recently Hollis made a big statement. He told the Detroit News and Matt Charboneau that, “It is a job.” Dream jobs can become nightmares if you aren’t allowed to do things that you see need to be done, or you have big brother over your shoulder. He is underpaid, and the job isn’t simply leading. With all the political minefields he has to endure it is an amazing job he has done.

I know of one Big East School contemplating a change in AD that has Hollis as their top choice if they make the move. They will pay him BIG BUCKS. Nearly four times what he makes now. A Big East school mind you.


I also know of another major BCS school that will have a retirement in the next 18 months that has Hollis as their #1 choice to lead their athletic program and again will pay him among the highest in the nation. Starting somewhere around seven times what he makes now. According to those at the school with knowledge of the situation.


Do I think he wants to leave? No. Do I think he will always stay here for SIGNIFICANTLY less money and political headaches that come with MSU? In my opinion the answer is no. Hollis has NEVER complained to me about his pay. It is however the reality of the situation.


If MSU looses Hollis I will have a lot to say about his tenure. Unvarnished and no holds barred, and it won’t go over well with the fans. I suspect if Hollis leaves and in my opinion it was the fault of the administration, when I share the MANY things I know, Spartan fans will demand people get fired. Not a threat that is simply a statement of fact.

Hondo I just wanted to drop a quick email and say thank you, thank you and thank you for the expanded coverage of Spartan hockey on Spartan Nation. It has been great. Greg

Thank you Greg. Thank Hollis and Anastos for making it matter again. MSU is on the same page with some great kids and it is special again.

Hondo will you do your annual Spartan Nation awards soon? I thought it was always in the first part of December. Thanks Byron

Yes Byron they will be out this week. Probably on Wednesday is when I will post that article, if not Friday afternoon. Some great awards this year and some surprise names.

OK everyone, there you go, our weekly general MSU athletics Q and A article. We will continue them every Monday morning, so if you have a question (not about basketball or football) here is a simple way to get it here. 

Send your questions to and put in the subject line general. If it doesn’t get answered in the article you will get a personal response. Thank you!

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