Al Gordis/Associated Press
Michigan State athletic director Alan Haller has announced that suspended football coach Mel Tucker will be fired due to allegations of sexual misconduct against a sexual assault advocate and victim.
Michigan State University announced Monday that it plans to fire head football coach Mel Tucker after he was accused of sexual harassment.
“With the support of the administration and board of directors, I have provided written notice to Mel Tucker of my intent to terminate his contract for cause,” said Alan Haller, the school’s vice president and director of athletics. said. stated in a news release. “This notification process is required as part of his existing contract. This notification requires Mr. Tucker to respond to me and the interim president as to why he should not be terminated for cause, You have 7 calendar days to present.”
The move will take place about a week later. USA Today reported Tucker is being investigated for sexual harassment, and the university suspended her without pay.
Tucker said in a statement Tuesday that he had known about the information the university used to terminate his contract since at least March. He said the move to fire him was made only after the allegations were leaked to the press.
“The investigation will be conducted to determine whether I violated the policy. I did not. But in any case, in the interest of basic fairness, before sanctions are determined, “It is necessary that the process be carried out,” he wrote.
Tucker also said the notice came after he emailed Haller asking for medical leave “due to a serious health condition.”
Asked about Tucker’s statement, Michigan State said it had no additional comment beyond the notice of intent and statement sent Monday.
by USA Today reportTucker allegedly made sexual comments and masturbated while on the phone with rape victim advocate Brenda Tracy.
Tracy reported the phone call with Tucker to the university’s Title IX office, USA Today reported. “The idea of someone saying they know me and understand my trauma and then re-inflicting that trauma on me is so disgusting to me that it’s hard for me to even fathom it.” Tracy told USA Today. “It’s like you sought me out just to betray me.”
in Statement obtained by CNN Mr. Tucker said last week that Mr. Tracy’s claims were “completely false” and that the investigation into his conduct was “not fair or impartial.” He described the call as a “completely interactive and private event between two adults.”
CNN has not independently verified the details of the report.
Haller said the investigation into the coach’s conduct began in December 2022. Press conference Early this month.
Tucker, who spent the past 20 years as a defensive coach in college and the NFL, became Michigan State’s head coach in 2020. In his second season, the team went 11-2 and signed him. Huge 10-year, $95 million contract As a result, he became one of the highest-paid coaches in college football. However, last year, the team finished with a disappointing 5-7 record, including heavy losses to rivals Michigan University and Ohio State University.
The university released a copy of the notice it sent to Tucker and a copy of the employment agreement he signed in 2021, which it claims he violated and admitted to violating during the investigation.
The notice said Tucker “made unwelcome sexual advances” toward an activist who is contracted by the university to provide sexual misconduct education to the school’s football team. The document states that Tucker “masturbated while on the phone without her consent.”
“While the formal grievance process is ongoing, the above undisputed facts constitute multiple grounds for termination under the early termination clause of the contract,” the notice to Tucker said.
While on the phone with the activist, Tucker made comments about the activist’s body, made flirtatious comments, masturbated, and made “explicit sexual comments” about himself and her girlfriend, the notice said. He admitted that.
The coach’s actions “constituted a serious breach” of his duties, exhibited “conduct constituting moral corruption,” and “brought public contempt, contempt, or ridicule upon the University,” all of which he said This is the reason for dismissal. According to the document.
“The unprofessional and unethical conduct is especially egregious given that the vendor in question was contracted with the university for the sole purpose of educating student-athletes about inappropriate sexual behavior and preventing that behavior.” ” the document says.
The school is investigating this incident under its Interpersonal Violence and Sexual Misconduct policy and Title IX.
Tracy’s attorney, Karen Traszkowski, said no police report had been filed.she issued Statement on behalf of her clients last week.
“Brenda Tracy had no intention of making her identity public,” the statement said. “She has been and remains committed to complying with and bringing to a close MSU’s internal investigative process. She respects the process and chooses not to go to the media to preserve the integrity of the process.” Did.
“Once the investigation process was complete, we would have decided whether to take further action. Instead, her identity was revealed without her knowledge or consent and we did not explicitly provide her with protection.” Her actions were justified. Her choice to proceed with this process privately has been rescinded.”