Michigan State fired head football coach Mel Tucker on Sunday during a lengthy sexual harassment investigation. A complaint was filed in December 2022 by Brenda Tracy, a prominent rape survivor and activist against sexual violence. Tracy told USA Today about the alleged incident, which no doubt sped up the process to Tucker's dismissal.
Tucker's firing came on Sunday, as reported by Brett McMurphy:
According to Tracy, Tucker made several advances and sexual comments towards her that culminated during a phone call on April 28, 2022.
From the USA Today article:
According to her complaint, Tracy sat frozen for several minutes while Tucker made sexual comments about her and masturbated. His violation, she said, reopened 25-year-old wounds from her rape by four men – two Oregon State University football players, a junior college player and a high school recruit.
She filed a complaint with the university's Title IX office in December.
Tracy told USA Today the following:
“The idea that someone could know me and say they understand my trauma but then re-inflict that trauma on me is so disgusting to me, it’s hard for me to even wrap my mind around it. It’s like he sought me out just to betray me.”
Tucker was the toast of college football in 2021, when he led a struggling Michigan State program to an 11-2 record and a win in the Peach Bowl. The Spartans started 8-0, and that run included a come-from-behind win over rival Michigan. It was his second season in East Lansing and followed a 2-5 2022 campaign. He was rewarded that offseason with a 10-year, $95 million contract.
The Spartans came back down to earth last season, as they went 5-7. They had started the 2023 campaign 2-0 before Tucker's firing.
UPDATE: We have conflicting reports! The Athletic is claiming Tucker has not been fired, while the Detroit Free Press says he's been suspended with pay.
We'll see how this plays out.
UPDATE II: It would appear the suspension is just a formality and Tucker will be fired once the Title IX investigation is completed, according to McMurphy.
UPDATE III: Michigan State athletic director Alan Haller says he has suspended Tucker without pay.
We'll update as more news becomes available.