MSU head football coach Mel Tucker suspended without pay following Title IX investigation

Published: Sep. 10, 2023 at 4:08 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 11, 2023 at 8:28 AM EDT
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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Michigan State University’s head football coach has been suspended without pay following allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced Sunday morning.

In a report released by USA Today, a woman working with the football program on violence education claimed that Tucker performed nonconsensual phone sex with her.

The woman, identified as Brenda Tracy, is also a rape survivor. The report alleges that Tracy filed a complaint against Tucker to the university in December 2022, which resulted in a Title IX investigation into Tucker’s behavior.

According to MSU leadership, an outside investigator was brought in when the initial report was filed in December. In July 2023, the investigator recommended a formal hearing regarding the allegations. The hearing is scheduled for October.

“[Sunday’s] news might sound like the MSU of old—it was not,” said MSU Interim President Teresa Woodruff. “It is not because an independent and biased investigation is and continues to be conducted that the investigative process is not complete and had not been referred to AD Haller or the University. That process will not be complete until there is a hearing and a final decision.”

“The university’s objective has been and remains focused on conducting a fair, thorough and unbiased investigation and allowing the processes to play out. This includes protecting the confidentiality of the claimant and putting in place interim measures,” said MSU Athletic Director Alan Hallar.

While the university said they knew about the complaint against Tucker in December 2022, they claim they did not know the details from the Title IX investigation until they read the report that came out over the weekend.

Woodruff shared that the new developments that were released not only impact the case but the community as well.

It will be determined after the hearing in October whether Tucker will ever be on the sidelines again for Michigan State. As it stands, Tucker is suspended without pay. If his suspension lasts through the hearing, he would miss at the very least the Washington game on Sept. 16, a home game against Maryland and an away game at Iowa.

Assistant Head Coach Harlon Barnett will act as head coach. MSU is bringing in former Head Coach Mark Dantonio as interim assistant coach.

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