As first reported by Spartans Illustrated and since confirmed by multiple national outlets and announced by Michigan State, MSU has served a notice to terminate football coach Mel Tucker.
Michigan State has announced it has begun the process of firing coach Mel Tucker for cause. pic.twitter.com/FTYpTMvDhW
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) September 18, 2023
Kevin Knight of Spartans Illustrated reported that “sources have indicated to Spartans Illustrated that MSU Vice President and Athletic Director Alan Hellar informed the team that the university has served Tucker notice of intent to terminate the contract for cause during a team meeting earlier today.”
Tucker has been suspended since Sunday, Sept. 10, and couldn’t coach the team in its 41-7 home loss to Washington this past Saturday.
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.
Last week, 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 Tucker has indeed coached his last game at Michigan State— which, based on everything out there, appears to be a formality— he’ll finish with an overall record of 20-14 and 12-13 in the Big Ten.
Michigan State has been dealing with yet another sexual assault allegation after failing 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.