Michigan State Football: Investigating Coach Tucker

In a shocking turn of events, Michigan State University’s head football coach, Mel Tucker, finds himself at the center of an ongoing sexual harassment investigation. Reports suggest that an outspoken rape survivor and advocate for educating athletes about sexual violence, Brenda Tracy, has accused Tucker of sexual harassment. These allegations come after the two had collaborated multiple times, with Tracy even being recognized as an honorary captain of the Michigan State football team.It’s significant to remember that Tucker has refuted these claims.

The Investigation Unfolds

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  1. Introduction to the Controversy: The article starts by introducing the situation, setting the stage for the reader’s understanding.
  2. Key Facts: The investigation revolves around Tucker, who is now 51 years old. Both ESPN and USA Today have reported on this ongoing investigation, although ESPN has not confirmed the identity of the alleged victim or any specific details.
  3. Title IX Complaint: USA Today obtained a Title IX complaint filed in December, alleging that Tucker made sexual comments about Brenda Tracy and engaged in inappropriate behavior during an April 2022 phone call.
  4. Shocking Allegations: Brenda Tracy, in her statement to USA Today, revealed that during the phone call, Tucker confessed to touching himself. Tracy’s response to this shocking revelation was astonishment, as she sat frozen on the call for several minutes.
  5. Tucker’s Defense: Tucker, on the other hand, has a different perspective. He claims that the phone call involved “mutually consensual and intimate” activities. However, it’s crucial to note that Tucker has been married for 20 years.
  6. Personal and Professional Boundaries: Tracy further states that Tucker openly discussed his marital issues and made it evident on several occasions that he had a romantic interest in her.
  7. Alleged Threats: Tracy felt threatened by Tucker’s comments and actions during the call. She even canceled a planned appearance at the school, fearing damage to her career if she spoke up.
  8. Timing of the Complaint: Interestingly, Tucker filed her complaint eight months after the controversial phone call. He expressed shock and suggested that Tracy might have falsely accused him for financial gain.
  9. Independent Investigation: An independent investigator concluded her work in July, and a hearing to determine Tucker’s violation of Michigan State’s sexual harassment policy is scheduled for October 5 and 6.
  10. Silence from the Parties: Neither Tucker, his agent, Tracy, nor media representatives for Michigan State University have immediately responded to Forbes’ requests for comment.

Understanding the Background

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  1. Collaboration History: Tracy and Tucker had a working relationship since August 2021 when Tracy shared her own story of sexual assault with members of the Michigan State football program.
  2. Advocating Against Sexual Violence: Tracy’s mission was to encourage Spartan players to stand against sexual violence. Her experiences led her to create an educational speaking program, and she visited Michigan State athletes three times in the last two years.
  3. Honorary Captain: Tracy’s commitment to the cause was recognized when she was named an honorary captain of the Michigan State football team for a spring 2022 game.
  4. High Stakes for Tucker: Tucker’s financial and professional future is hanging in the balance. In November 2021, he signed a 10-year, $95 million contract with Michigan State. He may lose almost $80 million if convicted of actions that could damage the university’s reputation.
  5. Emotional Impact: Tracy’s statement encapsulates the gravity of the situation when she says, “It’s like he sought me out just to betray me.”

Contradictory Claims

Tucker has admitted that he made a poor judgment in getting involved with Tracy but firmly maintains that he did not engage in any misconduct. He alleges that Tracy agreed to engage in intimate activities with him once, and this incident has taught him a valuable lesson about trust.

A Troubled History

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It’s important to note that Michigan State University has already experienced a sexual misconduct crisis.

For failing to respond to many allegations of sexual assault by Larry Nassar, a former university employee and doctor for the women’s national gymnastics team, over the course of over two decades, the organization came under harsh criticism. A substantial financial settlement and public shame for the institution were the consequences of this incident.

It’s important to note that this is not the first sexual misconduct incident to involve Michigan State University. When Larry Nassar, a former doctor for the women’s national gymnastics team and university employee, was accused of sexually abusing many women over the course of over two decades, the school came under heavy fire.


  1. What are the key allegations against Coach Mel Tucker? The key allegations against Coach Mel Tucker include making sexual comments about Brenda Tracy and engaging in inappropriate behavior during a phone call.
  2. What stage is the probe in? An independent investigation concluded in July, and a hearing to determine if Tucker violated Michigan State’s sexual harassment policy is scheduled for October 5 and 6.
  3. What is at stake for Coach Tucker in this investigation? Coach Tucker committed to a sizeable contract with Michigan State, and he stands to lose a sizable sum of money if he is proven to have engaged in behavior that endangers the school’s reputation.
  4. What has Coach Tucker said in response to these allegations? Coach Tucker admits to poor judgment but firmly denies engaging in any misconduct. He claims that the activities in question were consensual.
  5. What are the accusations’ responses from the university?At the time of writing, neither Coach Tucker nor the university has responded to requests for comment from Forbes or other media outlets.

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