September 27, 2023
Michigan State University Officially Fires Mel Tucker As Sexual Misconduct Investigation Continues
Michigan State University officially fired head football coach Mel Tucker for cause Wednesday a little more than a week after the university announced it would do just that.
ESPN reports Tucker is currently under investigation due to a sexual misconduct complaint brought by sexual assault awareness speaker Brenda Tracy. In her complaint, Tracy claimed Tucker masturbated during an April 2022 phone call between the two.
Tucker said that the call was consensual, added that the university investigator acknowledged a personal relationship between Tucker and Tracy.
In a release, Michigan State said it terminated Tucker’s contract “for his admitted and undisputed behaviors which have brought public disrespect, contempt, and ridicule upon the university and constitute a material breach of his agreement and moral turpitude.”
Michigan State is now attempting to not pay Tucker any of the money remaining on his deal.
Tucker, who was hired in 2020, was suspended without pay earlier this month. The university announced its intent to fire him for cause on September. In his two seasons at Michigan State, Tucker was 20-14, and was 2-0 this season.
In the release, Michigan State Athletic Director Alan Haller claimed the university has “amassed a body of undisputed evidence of misconduct that warrants termination for cause.”
Tucker said his termination is “unjustified for several reasons.” In a Sept. 19 statement, Tucker said the university “does not care about my rights, the truth, or its future liability for policing its employees’ private lives.”
Despite Tucker’s termination, a hearing will still be conducted in October 2023 to decide whether Tucker violated university policy.
Tucker’s first season at Michigan State in 2020 was successful: an 11-2 record and a victory over Pittsburgh in the Peach Bowl. The school rewarded Tucker with a 10-year, $95 million contract, making him one of the highest-paid coaches in college football.
Michigan State has struggled to find its footing since Tucker’s departure, losing its first two games under acting coach Harlon Barnett to Maryland and Washington by a combined score of 72-16.