Michigan State University told football coach Mel Tucker that he will be fired without compensation for misconduct involving activist and rape survivor Brenda Tracy.
“I, with the support of the administration and the board, have provided Mel Tucker with written notice of my intent to terminate his contract for cause,” Michigan State athletic director Alan Haller said. “This notification process is necessary as part of his existing contract. The notice gives Tucker seven calendar days to respond and present to me and the acting president reasons why he should not be terminated for cause.”
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 remaining amount on his contract.
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.
Tracy said Tucker sexually harassed her during a phone call in April 2022. Eight months later, Tracy filed a complaint with the school’s Title IX office and the investigation was completed in July. A hearing is scheduled for October to determine whether Tucker violated the school’s sexual exploitation and harassment policy, and a ruling could take up to 60 days.
Tucker, 51, who said he is separated from his wife and has two children, He said the allegations against him are “completely false.”.” Tucker insisted that the intimate phone call he had with Tracy was consensual and outside the scope of both Title IX and school policy.
The school has said that “unprofessional behavior and failure to live up to the core values of the department and university” were the reason Tucker was suspended last week.
Tracy is known for her work. with college teams, educating athletes about sexual violence. Michigan State paid him $10,000 to share his story with the football team.
The state of Michigan has an ugly history of sexual misconduct in recent years. None more devastating than the case he allowed with disgraced sports doctor Larry Nassar. After a Michigan State graduate came forward with a complaint about Nassar’s abuse in 2014, a school investigation found he did not violate school policy.