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Mel Tucker to be fired for cause by Michigan State

The university has notified the head coach its intention to terminate his contract with cause in the midst of a sexual harassment scandal.

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Richmond v Michigan State Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images

Sept. 27 update — The Athletic’s Nicole Auerback reported that Michigan State is expected to formally fire head football coach Mel Tucker for cause today,

Michigan State University has notified head football coach Mel Tucker its intention to terminate his contract for cause in the wake of sexual harassment allegations made by prominent sexual assault prevention advocate Brenda Tracy being made public. The Athletic’s Nicole Auerbach reported that the school’s investigation will continue regardless of Tucker’s participation in his hearing on the matter on October 5.

Michigan State athletic director Alan Haller released this statement on Monday:

The scandal first became public on Sunday, September 10 when Kenny Jacoby of USA Today reported that Tracy had filed a complaint to Michigan State’s Title IX office for sexual comments and inappropriate actions Tucker made during one of their conversations in 2022. The university hired an outside Title IX attorney to investigate the complaint and reportedly finished the investigation in July. Haller, along with Michigan State president president Teresa K. Woodruff, were not privy to the details of the complaint and held a press conference the evening of Jacoby’s report to announce that Tucker had been suspended without pay.

Haller announced that secondary coach Harlon Bennett would serve as the interim head coach in Tucker’s place while former MSU head coach Mark Dantonio would assist him as an associate head coach.

Tucker and Michigan State agreed to a monster 10-year, $95 million contract extension in November of 2021 with a buyout of $70 million if he were fired without cause. Michigan State terminating him with cause would void that buyout money, and a legal battle between the head coach and the school is expected in the coming months.