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Michigan State Officially Fires Mel Tucker for Cause

Mel Tucker
Mel Tucker, Georgia Bulldogs Defensive Coordinator, Georgia Bulldogs vs LSU Tigers, Football, Tiger Stadium, October 13, 2018, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Tammy Anthony Baker, Photographer

What’s felt inevitable for weeks looks like it’s about to become a reality: Michigan State has to formally fired Mel Tucker today.

ESPN’s Pete Thamel reported late Wednesday morning that Tucker, 51, was expected to “formally fire Tucker for cause,” a week after giving Tucker his termination notice.

Now, MSU has made it official.

Tucker has been suspended since Sept. 10. The reason for Tucker’s suspension is a sexual harassment charge from rape survivor and anti-rape, anti-sexual harassment activist Brenda Tracy.

Tucker has been under investigation since December. Tracy alleges that he masturbated during a phone call with her. Tucker admitted to masturbating, but said it was consensual and part of phone sex.  Tracy denies that it was consensual.

Not long after he was suspended, Tucker published a statement through his attorney, Jennifer Belviel, denying the allegations.

Harlon Barnett is currently Michigan State’s acting head coach, a longtime Spartans head coach Mark Dantonio has rejoined the staff as associate head coach.

If this holds true, Mel Tucker will be gone from Michigan State after a little more than three seasons in East Lansing.

His final record will be 20-14 overall and 12-13 in the Big Ten. The highlight of Tucker’s MSU tenure was the 2021 season in which Sparty finished 11-2. This effort led to Tucker getting a 10-year, $95 million contract extension.

This lawsuit is another example of Michigan State been dealing with a sexual assault allegation. The University failed to act for nearly two decades against former sports medicine Dr. Larry Nassar, who worked with the school’s gymnastics team.

Penn State went 2-1 against Tucker’s Michigan State teams, with the lone loss coming in Nov. 2021 in East Lansing.

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