EAST LANSING, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) – Michigan State University released a statement Monday, Sept. 18, announcing plans to terminate football coach Mel Tucker’s contract for cause following a sexual harassment allegation.
In the statement, athletic director Alan Haller says Tucker has seven calendar days to respond “and present reasons to me and the interim president why he should not be terminated.”
“This action does not end the ongoing matter with the Office for Civil Rights; this rigorous process will continue,” Haller said.
MSU Athletics sent a letter to the third-year coach and said the contract could be terminated prematurely if the coach “engages in conduct that constitutes moral turpitude or that, in the reasonable judgment of the university, would tend to arouse disrespect, contempt or ridicule among the public. about the university.
If fired, the university would not have to pay Tucker what remains of his 10-year, $95 million contract.
Read the full letter from MSU below:
Tucker is accused of sexually harassing activist and rape survivor Brenda Tracy during a phone call last year.
According to the report, Tracy became friends with Tucker through his advocacy work, but the relationship took a turn in April 2022 when he allegedly masturbated during the phone call.
Less than 24 hours after the allegation was made public in a USA Today report, MSU announced Sunday, September 10 that.
A hearing is scheduled for Oct. 5 and 6 to determine whether Tucker violated MSU’s sexual harassment and exploitation policy.
In a statement last week, TuckerHe admitted to having an “intimate late-night conversation” with Tracy, but claims it was a mutual and “private event between two adults living on opposite ends of the country.”
Tucker also claimed that he and his wife were separated for some time.
However, MSU said in the letter to Tucker: “Your comments about the seller being an ‘a**’, confessing to flirting and masturbating on the phone with the seller, while married, constitute moral turpitude.”
In response to Tucker, Tracy accused him of “delaying and trying to stop the investigative process from the beginning.”
On Tuesday, September 12, Tracy’s attorney, Karen Truszkowski,by an “outside party”, and she did not intend to reveal her identity.
MSU says it plans to investigatewhich led to the revelation of his identity.
Students react to MSU’s plans to fire Tucker
CBS News Detroit spoke with some students Monday after the university announced its intention to fire Tucker. Some say they expected more from the coach.
“Considering that we have so many programs in place to get students on the right track and educate them about these things, you would think that someone that the university has invested this much money in would be on board,” said Lauren Krill, senior.
Krill, an educator who teaches freshmen and sophomores about sexual misconduct, says she was shocked to learn of the allegation.
“I just knew he was suspended. I’m glad they’re taking action and taking it seriously. I feel like they’re going to do damage control if you’ve known about it for so long,” she said. -she declared.
Some students, like Jimmy King, fear the allegation could have a long-term impact on the university.
“It’s a negative thing, and it’s going to last a long time. So I feel like it’s a lose-lose situation,” King said.