Michigan State is forever changed because of the Larry Nassar scandal.

The former USA Gymnastics team doctor and MSU employee took down many in his path to destruction. The magnitude of Nassar’s acts will be felt for years to come. One person was enabled to victimize dozens and dozens of innocent people, and as a result, MSU’s administration went down with him.

MSU president Lou Anna K. Simon stepped down, and on Friday, Mark Hollis made the stunning announcement that he was also resigning in the wake of Nassar’s sentencing.

It didn’t matter that Hollis said he didn’t think he ever met Nassar, or that Hollis said no one forced him to resign. The decision left a university and an athletic department in even more shock. The guy who was believed to be on the short list of candidates to eventually replace Jim Delany as B1G Commissioner is now retired.

The impact of Nassar’s crimes will stretch far beyond his victims or the MSU administrators who stepped down. It’s bigger than one school, one organization or one sport.

For the sake of this discussion, though, let’s shift the focus to how Hollis’ retirement could impact Mark Dantonio and his football program.

Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

I’ve always been under the impression that as long as Hollis was MSU’s athletic director, Dantonio’s job was never in serious jeopardy. Even when MSU was a dumpster fire in 2016, Dantonio had given Hollis nearly a decades’ worth of reasons why he deserved to turn things around.

And to his credit, Dantonio did that. The Spartans were one of the surprise teams in college football in 2017, and they’re poised to do even better things with an experienced group in 2018.

Hollis took over in East Lansing a year after Dantonio was hired, but considering all of the extensions they negotiated together over the years, it always felt like that bond was all but unbreakable.

We don’t know yet who will take over for Hollis as MSU’s next A.D. What we do know is that they won’t have the same kind of history working with Dantonio.

It’s tough to imagine that Dantonio survives another 2016 season with a new A.D. MSU football’s sexual assault problem — yes, it was a major problem — would’ve gotten some coaches fired. Given what the university went through with the Nassar scandal, there’s no chance that even a coach of Dantonio’s caliber can keep his job if the football program’s sexual assault problem resurfaces.

Dantonio doesn’t need to hear those words said. He got that message loud and clear a few months ago.

RELATED: Michigan State AD Mark Hollis retires following Larry Nassar scandal

Hollis trusted Dantonio to right the ship, and Dantonio trusted Hollis to give him the resources necessary to compete with the B1G’s best. That’s what fueled the Spartans’ rise the last decade.

All of that is gone now. For the time being, Dantonio and his program will try and process a reality that they never could’ve seen coming.

But eventually, it’ll be time to move on. Dantonio will turn to a new boss in hopes of developing a relationship like the one he had with Hollis. That matters. Tom Izzo might not be in East Lansing if not for the relationship he had with Hollis. The same could be said for Dantonio, who will start over with Hollis’ replacement.

Will Dantonio and the new A.D. have the same vision? Will MSU’s next A.D. be willing to make huge football-related investments like Hollis, who saw $115 million go into projects at Spartan Stadium? And when Dantonio needs a public vote of confidence during tumultuous times on or off the field, will he get it from the next A.D.?

All of that remains to be seen. We might not get answers to those questions for years. All we know is that one of the most accomplished athletic directors in America is no longer running the show in East Lansing. Hollis’ retirement will mark the end of an era.

Right now, though, a fresh start doesn’t sound like such a bad thing for MSU.