Michigan State Football Coach Mel Tucker Suspended Over Sex Abuse Claims

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Mel Tucker, head football coach of Michigan State University has been suspended after allegations of sexual misconduct. Brenda Tracy is a well-known advocate for sexual violence and sexual assault prevention. She speaks to college athletes about how they can become “changemakers” in their communities. In 2021, Tucker and Tracy collaborated to improve the East Lansing Campus. Both agreed that their professional relationship was strong.

Tracy claims Tucker made unwanted sexual remarks about or to Tracy during a phone call on April 28, 2022. Tracy also claimed Tucker masturbated while on the call. Tucker says Tracy “grossly misrepresented the episode” when she claimed that it was consensual phone sex. Tracy sat in stunned silence.

I’d like to ask three questions, but I do not know how Title IX complaints are handled by the MSU Office of Institutional Equity.

1. How did the complaint only reach the authorities in December, if the incident occurred in April?

Brenda Tracy was gang-raped by a group of men in 1998. Her website states that she immediately filed a police report and went to the hospital. However, her efforts to find justice were unsuccessful.

What took 7 months between the incident and the investigation and complaint?

2. Is this a coincidence, or is it a deliberate choice?

Mel Tucker’s contract as head coach at MSU guarantees him $9.5 million annually for the next 10 years. MSU only has two profitable sports: football and men’s basket-ball.

The team has won two games, Central Michigan and Richmond. If you look at the rest of the schedule, they’ll be playing against more competitive teams, such as Michigan Minnesota, and Iowa. What’s more crucial for the University? Justice for the victim and correction of sexually deviant behavior on the face of the brand or football?

3. Why did Mel Tucker go on unpaid leave in July, if the investigation report had enough information to hold an inquiry?

USA Today published an article that detailed the investigation and complaint. The University of Michigan took disciplinary action against Mel Tucker following the publication of the article.

Mark Dantonio is likely to return as an assistant Spartan coach on September 11 and Harlon B. Barnett will now be the Spartan Head Coach.

When are people going to realize that covering up scandals only makes them worse? Michigan State should have removed Tucker before the start of the season. The university decided to go quietly and hope no one noticed. Michigan State officials have gathered around their cash cow because there is no other witness.

An ongoing investigation

The USA Today story about their relationship morphing to what appears to be a romantic relationship, perhaps one-sided is especially intriguing. Tucker’s unhappy marriage, flirting and late-night phone calls, as well as gifts, are all related to charity events, donations for non-profits, and training sessions.

The issue is not whether Tucker masturbated on the phone (he admits it), but whether there was consent between the two adults. Tracy would put her relationship with her school and her job at the school ahead of her efforts to prevent sexual misconduct if there were consent. Tracy delivered over 100 speeches during her career, and she received a speaking fee of $10,000.

Some people may blame Michigan State University, as they did Nassar’s case, for covering up Tucker’s actions. Remember that in this case, all three parties could be wrong.

Michigan State University needs to improve its risk mitigation and communications teams. If it did, amateurs were involved.