Michigan State’s head coach has been suspended for sexual harassment

EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Football coach Mel Tucker has been suspended without pay, Michigan State athletics director Alan Haller announced in a news conference Sunday evening.

The suspension takes place in the course of this Sexual harassment allegations against MSU coach.

According to CBS Sports, the university is investigating allegations stemming from a complaint filed in December 2022 by Brenda Tracy, a prominent rape survivor and anti-sexual violence activist.

In the complaint, Tracy accuses Tucker of making sexually suggestive comments and masturbating while “sitting frozen for several minutes” during a telephone conversation on April 28, 2022. Tracy visited MSU at least three times as an activist starting in 2021 – including once being named an honorary captain at a spring football game at Michigan State – and developed a relationship with Tucker as part of her work on campus.

Tracy claims too numerous other inappropriate incidents.

“The idea that someone could know me and say they understand my trauma, but then inflict that trauma on me again, is so repulsive to me that it’s hard for me to even come to terms with,” Tracy told USA Today. “It’s as if he sought me out just to betray me.”

Tracy was gang raped in 1998 by four men – three college football players and a recruit. She went public in 2014 and has been campaigning against sexual violence against women in college sports ever since.

In statements to a Title IX investigator, Tucker admitted that the April 28 call occurred; However, he claimed it was a consensual encounter.

“MS. “Tracy’s distortion of our consensual and intimate relationship through allegations of sexual exploitation truly touched me,” Tucker wrote in a letter to the investigator obtained by USA today. “I’m not proud of my judgment and I have a hard time forgiving myself for getting myself into this situation, but by definition I did not commit any wrongdoing.”

A university hearing on the issue is scheduled for October 5-6, USA Today reports.

MSU Vice President Emily Guerrant did not comment on the specific investigation to ESPN, but said any similar complaint would be “thoroughly reviewed and pursued by MSU’s Office of Civil Rights” in a “thorough and confidential manner.”

The state of Michigan denied a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request on the grounds that a privacy exemption allows an organization not to disclose information that is personal in nature, such as “if it is intimate, embarrassing, private, or are confidential.” ESPN is preparing to file an appeal.

In Sunday’s press conference, Haller said he had already met with the team and football program staff.

Harlon Barnett will take over as interim head coach. Currently, Barnett is the team’s secondary coach. Former head coach Mark Dantonio will also return to the program, but his role has yet to be defined, according to Haller.

Tucker is off to a 2-0 start in his fourth year at Michigan State after defeating Richmond 45-14 on Saturday night. After leading the Spartans to an 11-2 record in his second season, Tucker signed a 10-year, $95 million guaranteed contract with the school. Since then, the program is just 7-7 and 3-6 in Big Ten play.

There is a clause in Tucker’s contract that allows MSU to fire him for cause “if the coach engages in conduct that constitutes moral turpitude” or if MSU believes that conduct constitutes moral turpitude to the university caused embarrassment.

Michigan State, meanwhile, continues to try to repair its reputation after ignoring decades of complaints against Larry Nassar, an MSU doctor and former USA Gymnastics doctor who is accused of sexually abusing hundreds of female athletes. Nassar was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison in verdicts handed down between 2017 and 2018.

Laura Coffey

Laura Coffey is a Worldtimetodays U.S. News Reporter based in Canada. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Laura Coffey joined Worldtimetodays in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: LauraCoffey@worldtimetodays.com.

Related Articles

Back to top button