- Michigan State notified suspended football coach Mel Tucker on Monday
- Tucker said the allegations against him were “completely false.”
- DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news
Michigan State informed suspended football coach Mel Tucker Monday that he will be fired without compensation for misconduct involving activist and rape survivor Brenda Tracy in a sordid affair that dates back more than a year.
“The notice gives Tucker seven calendar days to respond and present reasons to me and the interim president why he should not be terminated for cause,” athletic director Alan Haller said in a statement released by the ‘school.
If Tucker does not present “sufficient reasons to contest” the multiple contract violations, the school will fire him on September 26, three days after the Big Ten schedule opens in what was hoped to be a bounce-back year for the Spartans .
Tucker is in the third year of a 10-year, $95 million contract and if he is fired for cause, the school would not have to pay him the remainder of his contract. Tucker, his agent and his attorney did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.
Haller said the decision does not affect the ongoing investigation into Tracy’s sexual harassment allegations, which is being handled by the school’s civil rights office.
Michigan State informed Mel Tucker on Monday that he would be terminated without compensation.
Brenda Tracy (pictured) said Tucker sexually harassed her during a phone call in April 2022
Tracy said Tucker sexually harassed her during a phone call in April 2022. Several months later, Tracy filed a complaint with the school’s Title IX office and the investigation concluded in July. A hearing is scheduled for the week of Oct. 5 to determine whether Tucker violated the school’s sexual harassment and exploitation policy and a decision could take up to 60 days.
Tracy’s allegations were made public by USA Today earlier this month. Tucker, 51, who said he was separated from his wife and had two children, said the allegations against him were “completely false.” Tucker insisted that the intimate phone call he had with Tracy was consensual and outside the scope of Title IX and school policy.
The school, however, said the actions Tucker acknowledged were unprofessional and unethical. He told Tucker that he had been fired for “breaches” of his contract and for engaging in “any conduct which constitutes moral turpitude or which, in the sole judgment of the university, would tend to create a lack of of respect, contempt or ridicule from the public towards the university”.
Tucker said the allegations were “false” and that the phone call with Tracy was consensual.
Tracy is known for her work with college teams raising awareness about sexual violence among athletes. Michigan State paid him $10,000 to share his story with the football team.
The Spartans (2-1) were defeated 41-7 by No. 8 Washington on Saturday in Harlon Barnett’s debut as interim coach. Michigan State hosts Maryland (3-0) on Saturday.
Tucker began his coaching career with Nick Saban as a graduate assistant for the Spartans in 1997. He returned to school with one of the biggest contracts in college sports after leading Colorado for one season and having served as an assistant coach at Georgia, Alabama and Ohio State.
Tucker also worked in the NFL, leading the Jacksonville Jaguars as interim coach during the 2011 season.