Michigan State fires Mel Tucker amid sexual harassment allegations

Michigan State fired head football coach Mel Tucker Sunday, hours after he was accused of sexually harassing a rape survivor in 2022.

The Action Network first reported Tucker’s dismissal. OutKick later confirmed the news. 

The Spartans will reportedly make secondary coach Harlon Barnett their interim head coach while former head coach Mark Dantonio is expected to assist in some way.

The allegations against Tucker surfaced earlier in the day in a USA Today report. According to ESPN, he was under investigation over the allegations.


Brenda Tracy, a sexual assault-prevention advocate who was gang raped by four college football players in 1998, filed the complaint against Tucker and alleged the coach had asked whether she would date him if he weren’t already married and masturbated without her consent during a phone call, according to USA Today.

Tracy talked to the Michigan State football team in August 2021 and April 2022 about preventing sexual violence and misconduct and was named an honorary captain for the team’s spring football game that April. She said afterward that Tucker had called her multiple times after the visit and even brought up meeting him alone, according to USA Today.

Tracy said she filed a complaint with the university’s Title IX office in December after a phone call in which Tucker allegedly made sexual comments and masturbated, according to the report. Tucker reportedly provided a conflicting statement to the Title IX investigator. He claimed they had consensual “phone sex.”


“Ms. Tracy’s distortion of our mutually consensual and intimate relationship into allegations of sexual exploitation has really affected me,” Tucker wrote to the Title IX investigator in March, according to USA Today. “I am not proud of my judgment and I am having difficulty forgiving myself for getting into this situation, but I did not engage in misconduct by any definition.”

Tracy told the outlet, “It’s like he sought me out just to betray me.”

Michigan State hired an outside Title IX attorney to investigate. An attorney wrapped up the investigation in July, and a hearing on whether Tucker violated any school rules is scheduled for October 5-6.

A rep for Tucker didn’t immediately return Fox News Digital’s request for comment.

Tucker signed a 10-year, $95 million contract extension in November 2021 and has been married for more than 20 years. He and his wife have two sons together.

A statement from Michigan State University said the school doesn’t comment on possible investigations as a “matter of protocol,” according to MLive.com.

“Let me assure you that if any complaint came forward regarding a violation of the university’s relationship violence and sexual misconduct policy, it would be thoroughly reviewed and followed up on by MSU’s Office for Civil Rights. Confidentiality is important to the culture around reporting incidents — it’s crucial in creating a safe environment for individuals to come forward,” Michigan State spokesperson Emily Guerrant said in a statement.

“Our commitment to our campus community and the public is to ensure that every complaint or concern brought forward is taken seriously and, when warranted, that a thorough investigation takes place. When investigations do happen, they need the ability to be conducted in a thorough and confidential manner.”

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