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'Disappointed – but not surprised.' Mel Tucker responds to MSU's plan to terminate his contract

Posted at 11:26 AM, Sep 19, 2023

(WXYZ) — Michigan State head football coach Mel Tucker is responding after the university gave notice Monday it intended to terminate his contract.

In the page-long statement, Tucker said he is "disappointed – but not surprised" about the university's plan to fire him.

"I can only conclude that MSU does not care about my rights, the truth, or its future liability for policing its employees’ private lives," Tucker added at the end of the statement.

What we're learning about the Mel Tucker sexual harassment investigation

On Monday, MSU Vice President and Athletic Director Alan Haller released a statement that said, "I, with the support of administration and board, have provided Mel Tucker with written notice of intent to terminate his contract for cause. This notification process is required as part of his existing contract. The notice provides Tucker with seven calendar days to respond and present reasons to me and the interim president as to why he should not be terminated for cause. This action does not conclude the ongoing Office for Civil Rights case; that rigorous process will continue."

"Let’s be clear. I don’t believe MSU plans to fire me because I admitted to an entirely consensual, private relationship with another adult who gave one presentation at MSU, at my behest, over two years ago," Tucker said in a statement.

This all stems from an investigation into alleged sexual harassment by Tucker of Brenda Tracy, a rape survivor who works to educate athletes about sexual assault and harassment.

MSU suspends Mel Tucker without pay amid sexual harassment investigation

Tracy, an activist and rape survivor, said Tucker sexually harassed her during a phone call in April 2022. Eight months later, Tracy filed a complaint with the school’s Title IX office and the investigation was completed in July.

Tucker has called those harassment claims false and said the alleged incident was consensual and an "entirely mutual, private event."

Tracy responded last week to Tucker's statement saying, "This is just more of the same DARVO, deflection, victim blaming and lies that I’ve been dealing with now for months. Coach Tucker has been delaying and trying to stop the investigative process since the beginning.”

Also Monday, the university said it has hired Jones Day law firm to investigate the leak that led to Tracy's identity being revealed in the investigation.

A hearing is scheduled for the week of Oct. 5 to determine if Tucker violated the school’s sexual harassment and exploitation policy and a ruling could take up to 60 days.

You can read Tucker's entire statement regarding the intent to terminate his contract below.
Mel Tucker responds to MSU's intent to terminate his contract by WXYZ-TV Channel 7 Detroit on Scribd