Mel Tucker Situation To Get Even Messier After Michigan State’s Update On ‘Cause’

Mel Tucker Fired With Cause Michigan State Sexual Harassment Money
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Mel Tucker will be fired as the head football coach at Michigan State University after all. Brett McMurphy may have jumped the gun with his poorly-worded report on Sept. 10, but it ultimately proved to be true after eight days.

Tucker was not fired on Sept. 10. He was placed on indefinite suspension.

However, as McMurphy later clarified, a decision was made on that day (or prior) to fire Tucker. The move to let him go is underway and will only make things even messier.

Michigan State Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics (AD) Alan Haller released the following statement on Monday afternoon:

I, with the support of administration and board, have provided Mel Tucker with written notice of intent to terminate his contract for cause. 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.

This action does not conclude the ongoing Office for Civil Rights case; that rigorous process will continue.

— Alan Haller

It is unclear as to when Tucker will be formally released from his role, but it will not happen in the next week. He will remain away from the program in the meantime.

Mel Tucker maintains innocence.

Although Tucker has not yet responded to the written notice of intent, he told his side of the story with a statement through his lawyer one day after the news initially broke. There was no admission of guilt. He refuted the idea that he was at fault for any of the alleged behavior.

Tucker is currently accused of sexual harassment. Details of an ongoing investigation broke overnight after a Spartans win over Richmond in Week 2.

Rape survivor and activist Brenda Tracy is at the forefront of the allegations. She is renowned for her work educating collegiate athletes and working with programs to prevent sexual violence.

Of the most jarring claims, Tracy says that Tucker made sexual comments and masturbated without consent during a phone call. Tucker claims that their entire relationship was consensual.

There is still a long way to go before this ongoing incident comes to a complete conclusion.

First and foremost, there is the investigation. That will continue, as Haller said Monday.

And then there is the element of “cause.”

Money could make this messy.

Michigan State signed Tucker to a 10-year, $95 million extension on Nov. 24, 2021. He is owed $70 million on that contract.

All of the money is guaranteed. It is a fully-guaranteed contract.

Thus, the remaining $70 million on Tucker’s deal would be due to him if he were fired without cause. The Spartans contend that they have more than enough cause to fire him without paying him out.

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$70 million is a massive sum of money.

Tucker claims that his relationship with Tracy is personal. Michigan State disagrees, because their relationship initially stemmed from a professional venture.

As a result of the disagreement between the two parties, this will almost certainly get litigious. It would be surprising if Tucker did not take this to court in an effort to receive the money that he believes is owed to him through his ouster without cause.

A messy situation is only going to get messier.