The Michigan State football team has gotten off to a 2-0 start this season, but the program is currently dealing with a major distraction in the form of the sexual harassment allegations levied against head coach Mel Tucker, who has seemingly gone out of his way to squeeze as much money out of the school as possible as it’s investigated the case.
Tucker was already a somewhat divisive figure in Lansing before those claims became public earlier this month. The 10-year, $95 million extension he signed in 2021 had already appeared to backfire based on how the team fared last season, and he certainly didn’t do himself any favors by reportedly keeping a $100,000 bonus that was meant to be distributed to his staff.
It initially appeared he was going to be shown the door after Brenda Tracey (an advocate for victims of sexual assault) accused him of engaging in lewd behavior during a phone call (Tucker claims the interaction was consensual), but Michigan State has opted to suspend him without pay is it continues to look into the matter—an investigation the head coach may have attempted to delay while still cashing a paycheck.
When the allegations surfaced earlier this month, many people wondered exactly how long Michigan State had been aware of the incident in question, and we eventually learned it was brought to the school’s attention after Tracey filed a Title IX complaint toward the end of 2022.
While the school initially attempted to arrange an official hearing in August after the investigation wrapped up at the end of July, the coach (and the lawyer he’s retained) claimed multiple scheduling conflicts while delaying the meeting until the start of October.
The outlet reports Tucker managed to earn more than $6 million between the time Michigan State received the complaint and the day it announced its suspension, and while it’s obviously worth noting he could be cleared of any wrongdoing in the end, the amount of time it’s taken to get to the bottom of the matter is a bit hard to ignore.