Michigan State’s investigation into former head coach Mel Tucker is complete.
Tucker was found liable for violating the school’s sexual harassment policy, according to USA Today’s Kenny Jacoby.
Michigan State released a 73-page report Wednesday and revealed that a university hearing officer concluded Tucker sexually harassed and exploited accuser and activist Brenda Tracy. The investigation found that Tucker masturbated and made sexual comments without Tracy’s consent during a phone call in April 2022.
The issue occurred eight months after TrTucker hired Tracys a sexual violence prevention educator. The hearing officer concluded Tucker acted inappropriately and sided with Tracy.
“In sum, considering all available evidence, the Resolution Officer finds, by a preponderance of the evidence, that there is sufficient evidence to conclude that Respondent subjected Claimant to unwelcome conduct based on sex when he FaceTime video called Claimant without a shirt on; when he attempted to meet up with Claimant alone following the Spring Game; and when he non-consensually masturbated and used graphic, sexual language on a phone call with Claimant.”
The 51-year-old coach was fired with cause by MSU on Sept. 27 after telling Tucker nine days earlier he would be let go. He was fired for acknowledging actions and breaching his contract.
Michigan State athletic director Alan Haller issued a formal statement following Tucker’s dismissal.
“Simply put, Mr. Tucker’s response does not provide any information that refutes or undermines the multiple grounds for termination for cause set forth in the notice,” Haller said. “Instead, his 25-page response, which includes a 12-page letter from his attorney and a 13-page ‘expert report,’ provides a litany of excuses for his inappropriate behavior while expressly admitting to the problematic conduct outlined in the notice.”
Tucker claimed he and Tracy were romantically involved, and the actions were consensual. The investigator concluded Tucker made unwanted advances and acted in quid pro quo sexual harassment.
Mel Tucker signed a 10-year, $95 million extension in Nov. 2021, weeks before defeating Pitt in the 2022 Peach Bowl. Secondary coach Harlon Bennett is serving as interim head coach. The Spartans are 2-5 in 2023 and have lost five in a row. MSU was crushed at home 49-0 to No. 2 Michigan on Saturday. Michigan State will host Penn State at Ford Field, home of the Detroit Lions, on Friday, Nov. 24 at 7:30 pm. The game will air nationally on NBC.