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Posted on Tue, May 15, 2012 : 4:42 p.m.

Michigan-Michigan State after dark? No trepidation from MSU AD Mark Hollis

By Kyle Meinke

CHICAGO -- Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon has said he's reluctant to host a night football game against Michigan State because of the threat of rowdy fans.

But his counterpart in East Lansing, Mark Hollis, seems to be more in favor of one.

"I love night games," the Spartans' athletic director said Tuesday at the Big Ten spring meeting. When asked if he had any apprehension about playing the Wolverines at night, he said, "No, I don't."


Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis isn't opposed to an MSU vs. Michigan night football game.

Melanie Maxwell |

Hollis, though, said game times typically are out of the athletic directors' control.

"That's a decision that's made by the networks, and they approach us and ask," he said. "To my knowledge, we were not asked about that being a night game."

Michigan has lost four in a row to its in-state rival, including a spirited matchup last year that included quarterback Denard Robinson getting knocked from the game and offensive lineman Taylor Lewan taking a punch from the Spartans' William Gholston.

It was the Wolverines' first loss of the season.

Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio further fueled the rivalry in the offseason, telling, "We're laying in the weeds. We've beat Michigan the last four years. So where's the threat?"

B1G SPRING MEETING sports reporter Kyle Meinke is in Chicago to cover the Big Ten Conference’s spring meeting. His reports:

Michigan players, Dave Brandon back 4-team playoff that includes bowl system

Michigan to spend $250 million to upgrade facilities for non-revenue sports

As Big Ten’s playoff model takes shape, conversation shifts from ‘what’ to ‘how’

Jim Delany favors raising bowl threshold to 7 wins, reworking ticket distribution

Athletic directors favor 4-team football playoff that includes bowls; selection committee popular

Michigan-Michigan State after dark? No trepidation from MSU AD Mark Hollis

He also had an interesting confrontation with Michigan receivers coach Jeff Hecklinski on the recruiting trail.

The series will be rekindled Oct. 20 in Ann Arbor. A game time hasn't been announced, but it won't be at night -- just the way Brandon likes it.

"I don't even know if I want to do that at home," Brandon told the Detroit News last year. "I think the passion and the excitement of the crowd, to energize that with a night game, may be more than either one of us can handle.

"I think we'd have to be very careful about that. But we'll see. You never know what the future holds."

Michigan won each of its night games last year, beating Notre Dame, Northwestern and Virginia Tech.

The Wolverines will have at least two night games next season, on the road against Notre Dame and Nebraska. It also is expected to play Alabama at night in the season opener on Sept. 1.

Kyle Meinke covers Michigan football for He can be reached at 734-623-2588, by email at and followed on Twitter @kmeinke.



Wed, May 16, 2012 : 9:32 p.m.

No one needs Sparty wandering the streets after being housed by the Wolverines. Good choice Hollis. Dantonio couldn't be reached for comment he was last seen in Maine recruiting soccer players.

Kevin Shabinski

Fri, May 18, 2012 : 4:09 p.m.

You mad?

Terry Star21

Thu, May 17, 2012 : 9:10 p.m.

Jeremy, you're right. Isn't it great how the outsiders; frightened, frustrated and jealous of M, come on our site to correct typos for us ? I had a typo earlier, and someone had to show me their intelligent level - too funny ! Losers and worse.

Kevin Shabinski

Thu, May 17, 2012 : 12:32 p.m.

Housed? Nice.

Greg M

Wed, May 16, 2012 : 7:56 p.m.

I wouldn't have a problem with a night game. It would be awesome…The problem is that some of the michigan state fans can't control themselves. Even when they win, they've been known to riot and tear up their OWN home turf of East Lansing. Unfortunately, a few bad spectators ruin a lot of exciting opportunities for the respectful fans that allow the game to be played on the field and, like it or not, accept the consequences, win or lose…Although, I will add that, even if you lose the game you can still be proud of your team and prepare to battle it out, ON THE FIELD, another day. As far as I'm concerned, a fan that can hold their head high and be respectful to the opponent, even in defeat, is still a WINNER. Bottom line is, when people see you acting with dignity and class, only then will you ever earn the, unblemished, respect of the other, win or lose.


Thu, May 17, 2012 : 1:24 a.m.

They tore up their own turf? isn't the agricultural side coming out. Moooooo! MSU loves dirt. Lets see booze and dirt, ya no night game.

Greg M

Wed, May 16, 2012 : 9:20 p.m.

Actually, I have many friends that are, "die hard" Sparty fans, but we respect each other. Of course we give each other crap and take our cheap shots out of fun, but our petty differences do not define our friendship.


Wed, May 16, 2012 : 8:13 p.m.

What a quaint and idealistic thought. We're talking about MSU here. Have you met any of their students/alums?


Wed, May 16, 2012 : 3:34 p.m.

Let's be honest - two years ago, the MSU crowd was by far the most out of control of any I've seen in the past 3-4 years (and I've only missed attending 2-3 home games in the last 4 years). It was a 4 p.m. start and little brother was already in rare form. Fights, drunks, and arrests......... MSU fans were a mess! . DB is 100% correct - no night game with MSU!


Wed, May 16, 2012 : 4:44 p.m.

Fights, drunks, arrests, dogs and cats living together. And worst of all they were messy. Oh the humanity! And from what vantage point were you recording all these observations? Suggestion for next year's night game? Stay home and watch it on tv.

Ron Granger

Wed, May 16, 2012 : 1:16 p.m.

Do they still burn couches in east lansing after a loss? That'd look pretty at night.


Wed, May 16, 2012 : 11:56 a.m.

buck up Brandon and host the night game......afraid it might tarnish UM image......


Wed, May 16, 2012 : 11:51 a.m.

Don't like Sparty never did same as Sparty doesn't like our Wolves. This fact is what keeps the great rivalry alive and well. That being said, my hats off to what coach dantonio has been able to do with State's program. He, dantonio is out of the Tressel mold and I'd like to think he only took the good things from tressel and not the slimy side of tressel. tressel got greedy, winning wasn't enough for tress. he just couldn't be satisfied with good enough. I think Brady Hoke is stable enough to be satisfied with good enough.


Wed, May 16, 2012 : 11:33 a.m.

I agree with the thumbs down comments thus far. Should Sparty lose to Michigan at night, their fans would get rowdy and ugly. Should they win, they'll be even more unruley and stay in town until the early hours of Sunday. Let the Spartans schedule the 2013 game at night in East Lansing, which I would bet happens.


Wed, May 16, 2012 : 1:20 a.m.

Why do we care what Hollis or Dumtonio says? This was a waste of space. No wonder you no longer put it in print. Would be a waste of paper.


Wed, May 16, 2012 : 12:50 a.m.

I'm not even sure why this game is even scheduled every season. To hear the wolverine fans talk, they've already won, thanks to their ability to out-recruit MSU. Just like the last 4 years. Oh, wait. Never mind.

Kevin Shabinski

Wed, May 16, 2012 : 12:38 p.m.

Hang those recruiting banners.


Wed, May 16, 2012 : 7:56 a.m.

The gap between Michigan and Michigan State in recruiting over the Rich Rod years was minimal. Rich Rod had zero connections to the Midwest region and was incapable of drawing in-state, high caliber, high school athletes, which ultimately left the door open for Mark Dantonio to grab recruits that were previously, and would otherwise be, unavailable. Brady Hoke, on the other hand, has been very successful at landing the Midwest talent and has left only scraps for Dantonio. The best in-state recruit MSU got last year was Aaron Burbridge and that's only because he didn't meet Michigan's academic standards. The University of Michigan wasn't surprised at all when Burbridge failed to become eligible. When you take that commitment away, that puts MSU's 2012 recruiting class somewhere around 45th in the country, on par with Northwestern, while Michigan's is at #4 according to scout. I hope this enlightens you on why Michigan fans are excited about the destruction of the MSU football programs infrastructural and lifeblood of the team.

Terry Star21

Tue, May 15, 2012 : 11:19 p.m.

Not good. After being smoked by Michigan, their player thugs and unruly fans will be worse than any nightmare from the horseshoe in ohio. We need them to exit as quickly as possible from our house, get out of town quickly and curb their anger by crying on the way home. The best sparty is a quiet sparty. MgoBlueForTiM......Michigan - "Were the Threat"...

Terry Star21

Wed, May 16, 2012 : 2:41 a.m.

Yes indeed, I rest my case your


Wed, May 16, 2012 : 12:47 a.m.

"Were the threat?" What were the threat, exactly? The leaders and best, indeed.


Tue, May 15, 2012 : 10:50 p.m.

M vs. MSU at night?! Sorry. Too volatile a matchup -- a very bad idea. AD Hollis should know better...PS who cares what D'antonio says? Go Blue.