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Michigan State begins process of firing coach Mel Tucker


Michigan State has begun the process of firing football coach Mel Tucker for cause.

The school released a statement Monday announcing that it intends to terminate Tucker’s contract.

“I, with the support of the administration and board, have provided Mel Tucker with written notice of intent to terminate his contract for cause,” Michigan State athletic director Alan Haller said. “This notification process is required as part of his existing contract. The notice provides Tucker with seven calendar days to respond and present reasons to me and the interim president as to why he should not be terminated for cause.”

Tucker is in the third year of a $95 million, 10-year contract; however, the school would not have to pay him what’s remaining on his deal if he’s fired for cause.

A Title IX complaint was filed against Tucker in December 2022 by sexual assault prevention advocate Brenda Tracy, who claims Tucker sent her gifts, asked if she would date him if he weren’t married and masturbated without her consent during a phone call.

Tucker has rebutted the characterization of his relationship with Tracy, saying the two were in a “mutually consensual and intimate relationship.”

Michigan State hired a third-party investigator to decide whether Tucker had violated the school’s sexual misconduct policy. The investigator finished her report July 25, Haller said last week, and recommended that the school hold a hearing to decide whether Tucker violated any policy. That hearing is scheduled for the first week of October.

The Title IX process will continue, Haller said in Monday’s statement.

Michigan State is looking into the source of a leak that led to Tracy’s identity being revealed as part of an investigation into her allegations.

Tucker was suspended without pay by the university Sept. 10. Secondary coach Harlon Barnett was promoted to interim coach ahead of Saturday’s loss to No. 8 Washington. The Spartans host Maryland on Saturday.

Information from ESPN’s Dan Murphy was used in this report.

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