Michigan State begins the process of firing coach Mel Tucker

ESPNSep 18, 2023, 04:18 PM ET2 minute reading

Michigan State has begun the process of firing football coach Mel Tucker for cause.

The school released a statement Monday announcing the termination of Tucker’s contract.

“With the support of the administration and board, I have given Mel Tucker written notice to terminate his contract for cause,” Michigan State athletic director Alan Haller said. “This notice process is required as part of the current contract. This notice gives Tucker seven calendar days to respond and present to me and the interim president reasons why he should not be terminated for cause.”

Tucker is in the third year of a $95 million, 10-year contract; However, if he is terminated for cause, the school will not have to pay him the remainder of his contract.

Sexual assault attorney Brenda Tracy filed a Title IX complaint against Tucker in December 2022, claiming Tucker sent her gifts and asked if she would date him if he masturbated without her consent during a phone call if she was not married.

Tucker denied the characterization of his relationship with Tracy, saying the two were in a “mutually consensual and intimate relationship.”

Michigan State hired a third-party investigator to determine whether Tucker violated the school’s sexual abuse policy. The investigator completed his report on July 25, Haller said last week, and recommended that the school conduct an investigation to determine whether Tucker violated any policy. The hearing will be held in the first week of October.

The Title IX process will continue, Haller said in a statement Monday.

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The State of Michigan is investigating the source of the leak that led to Tracy’s identity as part of an investigation into his allegations.

Tucker was suspended without pay by the university on September 10. Secondary coach Harlan Barnett was promoted to interim coach prior to Saturday’s loss to No. 8 Washington. The Spartans host Maryland on Saturday.

Information from Dan Murphy of ESPN was used in this report.

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