EAST LANSING, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) – Michigan State University released a statement on Monday, Sept. 18, saying it intends to terminate the contract of football coach Mel Tucker following allegations of sexual harassment.
Athletic director Alan Haller said in a statement that Tucker has seven calendar days to respond “and present to me and the interim president reasons why he should not be terminated.”
“This action will not close the ongoing Office for Civil Rights case; this rigorous process will continue,” Haller said.
MSU Athletics sent a letter to the third-year coach, stating that the contract may be terminated early if the coach “engages in any conduct which constitutes moral turpitude or which, in the reasonable judgment of the university, would tend to cause public disrespect, contempt or ridicule.” at the University.”
If fired, the university would not have to pay Tucker the remainder of his $95 million over 10 years.
Read the full letter from MSU below:
Tucker is accused of sexually harassing activist Brenda Tracy during a phone call last year.
According to the report, Tracy befriended Tucker because of her advocacy, but the relationship took a turn for the worse in April 2022 when he allegedly masturbated during a phone call.
Less than 24 hours after the allegation was published in a USA Today report, MSU announced on Sunday, Sept. 10 that.
A hearing is scheduled for Oct. 5-6 to determine whether Tucker violated MSU’s sexual harassment and exploitation policies.
In last week’s statement, TuckerHe admitted he had an “intimate conversation late at night” with Tracy, but claims it was a mutual and “private event between two adults living on opposite sides of the country.”
Tucker also claimed that he and his wife had been estranged for some time.
However, MSU said in a letter to Tucker: “Your comments about the seller’s ‘a**, admitted to flirting and masturbating over the phone with the seller while he was married, constitute a 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“on the sidelines” and had no intention of revealing her identity.
MSU says it plans to investigatewhich led to the revelation of her identity.
Students react to MSU’s plan to fire Tucker
CBS News Detroit spoke with several students Monday following the news that the university plans to fire Tucker. Some say they expected more from the coach.
“Since we have so many programs to get students on the right path and educate themselves on these things, you’d think that someone the university put so much money into would be on board,” senior Lauren Krill said.
Krill, a peer educator who teaches freshmen and sophomores about sexual abuse, says she was shocked to learn of the allegations.
“I just knew he was suspended. I’m glad they’re acting and taking it seriously. I feel like they’re going to do some damage control when you’ve known for so long,” she said.
Some students, like senior Jimmy King, worry the accusations could have a long-term impact on the university.
“It’s a negative thing and it’s going to last them a long time. So I feel like it’s a lose-lose situation,” King said.