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MSU students have mixed feelings about Mel Tucker’s potential new deal

Spartans football coach could become one of the highest-paid Big Ten coaches
Published: Nov. 18, 2021 at 6:38 PM EST
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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Michigan State University is reportedly offering football coach Mel Tucker $95 million, while the university is still recovering from the pandemic and struggling to fill many positions.

Tucker is in his second season with the Spartans, leading the team to a winning season.

Some students would like to see MSU do what it can to keep Tucker in East Lansing.

“Having him here is very good for the team. Really good for Michigan State in general,” said Cameron Robertson. “Having him here would just boost morale and keep people going to games.”

And there are plenty of people on campus who think the money would be better spent outside Spartan Stadium.

“It’s pretty insulting that the university told us they can’t afford to pay us that and turn around drop $10 million a year on one person’s salary,” said Ava Hill, Graduate Employees Union spokeswoman.

The news of Tucker’s new deal comes as the university is asking staff members to volunteer in the dining halls to make up staffing shortages.

During the 2020-21 school year, the university furloughed employees and froze wages to make up for COVID shortfalls.

Hill said she’s hoping the university remembers the sacrifices other workers on campus made during the pandemic.

“Hopefully, when we negotiate our contract next year, MSU will still be able to find all that extra money that they found for this and share some of it on those of us who don’t really make enough to pay the bills,” said Hill.

Tucker has four years left on his current contract, worth about $5.5 million dollars a year. He was hired in February 2020 after Mark Dantonio retired.

Much of the money is coming from donors Steve Saint Andre’ and Mat Ishbia, who was a walk-on on the MSU National Basketball Championship team in 2000.

The Detroit News reported Tucker’s new contract would make him the highest-paid Black coach in the country.

Since Michigan State University is a public university, Tucker’s contract will be made public in its entirety. As of Thursday night, no official agreement has been announced.

The Spartans next game will be against the Buckeyes on Saturday at Ohio Stadium.

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