Michigan State coach Mel Tucker faces hearing over allegations he sexually harassed rape survivor

MSU head coaches Izzo, Tucker, make statements about social injustice
Posted at 1:59 PM, Sep 10, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-10 17:20:46-04

Michigan State football coach Mel Tucker is facing a hearing next month over allegations that he sexually harassed activist and rape survivor Brenda Tracy during a phone call last year, according to USA Today.

Michigan State hired an outside Title IX attorney to investigate the complaint and the investigation concluded in July, according to the report published Sunday.

A hearing is scheduled for Oct. 5-6 to determine if Tucker violated the school's sexual harassment and exploitation policy, and he could lose about $80 million remaining on his contract if he's fired for cause, according to USA Today.

Messages seeking comment were left Sunday by The Associated Press with Tucker, Tracy, Michigan State athletic director Alan Haller and Tucker's attorney, Jennifer Belveal.

Tracy became friends with Tucker over her advocacy work, but that relationship took a turn in April 2022 when Tucker masturbated during a phone call with her, according to USA Today.

"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," Tracy told the newspaper. "It's like he sought me out just to betray me."

Tucker acknowledged to investigators last spring that he masturbated during the phone call with Tracy, but he said they had consensual "phone sex."

"Ms. Tracy's distortion of our mutually consensual and intimate relationship into allegations of sexual exploitation has really affected me," Tucker wrote in a March 22 letter to the investigator. "I am not proud of my judgment and I am having difficulty forgiving myself for getting into this situation, but I did not engage in misconduct by any definition."

Michigan State beat Richmond on Saturday to improve to 2-0 in Tucker's fourth season with the school. Tucker, in the third year of a $95 million, 10-year contract, is one of college football's highest paid coaches.

Tracy is known for her work with college teams, educating athletes about sexual violence. She has spoken to Michigan State's football team multiple times.


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