East Lansing, Mich. (FOX 2) – Michigan State University football coach Mel Tucker was placed on an unpaid suspension this weekend following allegations that he sexually harassed a sexual assault survivor who worked with the team.
Brenda Tracy, an activist who speaks to college teams about sexual violence, has spoken to Tucker athletes many times.
In April 2022, Tucker was accused of masturbating during a phone call with Tracy. She told investigators she did it but called it consensual “phone sex.”
The university first learned of the development in December 2022 and an outside investigation was conducted. The report of that investigation was published in July.
“This action to place Mel Tucker on unpaid leave is both necessary and appropriate in today’s circumstances,” MSU Interim President Teresa Woodruff said at a news conference Sunday. “The significance of this moment or its impact on those involved in the case, our university community and the extended Spartan family is not lost on me.
If Tucker, 51, is fired, Harlon Burnett will be the interim head coach, with former head coach Mark Dantonio serving as associate head coach.
A formal hearing will be held October 5-6. During this hearing, which will be similar to a bench trial, the future of money will be determined.
Bucks is at risk of losing his 10-year, $95 million contract.
Michigan State may dismiss him for money if he “engages in any conduct that constitutes moral turpitude or that, in the sole judgment of the University, tends to bring the University into public disrepute, contempt, or ridicule.” The school was also able to suspend him without pay, if he “materially breached” his contract.