Mel Tucker
Michigan State athletic director Alan Haller speaks during a news conference regarding the NCAA college football program in the wake of sexual assault allegations against head coach Mel Tucker, Sunday, Sept. 10, 2023, at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing, Mich. (Nick King/Lansing State Journal via AP)

Michigan State Football Coach Mel Tucker Suspended Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations

Michigan State University has suspended head football coach Mel Tucker after reports emerged that he is under investigation for sexual harassment. Tucker was suspended without pay on Sunday, following a USA Today publication highlighting the allegations.

The accuser is Brenda Tracy, a rape survivor and activist. She has made it her mission to support other victims and educate athletes about sexual violence. Tracy started a non-profit in 2017, called Set The Expectation, through which she travels to campuses across the country, sharing her mission and story with collegiate athletic programs.

Tracy met Tucker through her work when he invited her to campus to speak to his players and staff. Tracy made two separate visits to East Lansing to speak, where Tucker and her built a partnership based on her message.

That partnership took a turn on April 28, 2022. According to Tracy, the incident happened during a phone call between the two. Tracy claims that Tucker made sexual comments about her while performing sexual acts on himself, all while she sat frozen in silence on the other side of the line, with the incident lasting “several minutes.”

These details were part of the report by USA Today that prompted Tucker’s suspension. The university’s athletic director, Alan Haller, spoke to the media on Sunday, making his statement about Tucker’s suspension.

While the investigation is ongoing, Action Network’s Brett McMurphy reports that Tucker will be fired. According to McMurphy, the school will “wait until the Title IX investigation is completed” to make the move official.

Secondary coach Harlon Bennet is set to take over as interim head coach. Former head coach Mark Dantonio will also join the staff in an “undefined role.”

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