Just a day after news broke that he was at the heart of a sexual harassment investigation, Michigan State's Mel Tucker has been fired for his role in the scandal. While his Michigan State Spartans are a shaky 2-0 to start the year, their future just became a lot more of an unknown with their head coach on the way out.
— PFF College (@PFF_College) September 10, 2023
The events that led to Tucker's eventual firing began back in August 2021, according to The Detroit Free Press, when sexual assault survivor and activist Brenda Tracy came to Michigan State to educate Tucker and his athletes on sexual misconduct, ironically enough. She returned the following April, and served as honorary captain in the team's spring game, after she and Tucker had remained friendly over the months following her first visit.
— Matt Fortuna (@Matt_Fortuna) September 10, 2023
Just a few weeks after that spring game, there was a phone conversation between Tucker and Tracy where the problematic actions really appear to begin. Tucker does not deny that he made sexually explicit comments and masturbated during that call, but he vehemently denies that it was misconduct, claiming that the encounter was purely consensual.
Tracy did not agree, as she filed a sexual harassment complaint against Tucker in late 2022. The university launched an investigation in January, interviewed Tucker in March, and then completed the investigation sometime in July. The news broke just after State's week two win over Richmond, and Tucker is still headed to a hearing regarding the situation in early October.
So, barely a year after signing an enormous contract, and after just over three seasons as MSU's head coach, Tucker is leaving East Lansing. It's an era that was already getting to be controversial on the field, after Tucker and his squad had an atrocious 5-7 campaign just after he signed the huge extension, and now will certainly be remembered for what happened off the field, and how it ended.
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