Michigan State Football Players Stuck In Limbo As Outside Factors Determine Their Fates

Michigan State football players are caught in limbo amid the Mel Tucker investigation
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Michigan State University head football coach Mel Tucker is currently suspended without pay. The 51-year-old is currently under investigation for alleged misconduct and sexual harassment.

Tucker, in a statement released through his attorney, vehemently denies any wrongdoing.

The news first broke overnight on Saturday into Sunday. According to the initial report, Tucker is accused of making sexual comments toward Brenda Tracy, a rape survivor and activist who often speaks with college athletic programs about the culture of sexual violence in sports.

Brenda Tracy Mel Tucker
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Tracy claims that the inappropriate dialogue took place after she spoke with the Michigan State football program. She also said that Tucker masturbated without her consent while they were on a phone call together.

Tucker pushed back on that narrative in a statement through his attorney. He says that the two were involved in a “consensual” relationship and characterizes Tracy’s allegations as an attempt to “twist [their] personal relationship months after it concluded” with the intent to “revive her career and destroy [his] life, precipitated by greed.”

Tucker is away from the team as a result of the ongoing investigation. It was reported by Brett McMurphy on Sunday that he was fired. That is not the case as of right now but McMurphy said that his ouster is imminent.

The whole thing is very confusing and it is too early to know the real truth.

Michigan State players are being effected most by the Mel Tucker investigation.

Although Tucker and Tracy are most involved with the ongoing situation, there are a lot of other players involved. None of them are being directly effected more than the players. Not the administration, not the coaches— the players.

First and foremost, the Spartans are in a difficult position because of the uncertainty.

Their head coach is being accused of misconduct. He contends that it is all untrue.

The players are stuck in the middle. They must choose who to believe, or not to believe, without all of the information. That is extremely difficult on their psyche to begin with.

Secondly, McMurphy posted that Tucker had been fired.

Players were under the impression that he was gone. And then they found out that he is not fired, just suspended. That is an emotional rollercoaster that even further exacerbates the situation.

Now the Spartans are playing for an interim coach. That is not easy either. The program is in a broken state and the players have 10 games left.

To make things even more difficult, there is the transfer portal element coupled with the possibility of a redshirt. This is where things get especially confusing.

If a head coach is fired, players at that school are immediately eligible to enter the transfer portal for 30 days. At some point on Sunday afternoon, after McMurphy’s report, a group of Michigan State players may have considered making the midseason move to another program.

They cannot make that move with Tucker suspended. They are not allowed to enter the transfer portal if he is not fired.

Regardless of whether Mel Tucker is guilty of the allegations or not doesn’t matter. The truth will come out over the next few weeks, and will likely reach a point of litigation. He and Tracy can make their own decisions on how to proceed from here.

The same cannot be said for the athletes in East Lansing. They cannot decide what the future holds. They are stuck in limbo.

Outside factors will determine their fate, which is a truly unfortunate reality.