Michigan State head football coach Mel Tucker is the subject of a Title IX investigation in which Brenda Tracy, who has made a national career of informing athletes about sexual misconduct, is accusing Tucker of sexual misconduct.
Tracy is claiming Tucker made sexual comments towards her and masturbated while on the phone with her, reopening her wounds as a sexual assault survivor. Tucker acknowledged the phone call and said he did masturbate, but claimed it was consensual phone sex.
USA Today featured the story in all of its dirty details, it’s worth a read to get the complete scope of discrepancies between the two parties.
Tracy was gang raped in 1998 by Colorado football players and started a non-profit foundation, Set the Expectation, to support victims and speak to athletes across the country. That led her to Michigan State in 2021 when she addressed the team and was named an honorary captain for its spring game last year.
Tucker’s response to investigators was pathetic.
“Ms. Tracy’s distortion of our mutually consensual and intimate relationship into allegations of sexual exploitation has really affected me,” Tucker wrote in a March 22 letter to the investigator. “I am not proud of my judgment and I am having difficulty forgiving myself for getting into this situation, but I did not engage in misconduct by any definition.”
Tucker signed a contract extension in 2021 with the school for $95 million over ten years. He is married and has two sons with his longtime wife.
In November, Michigan State signed him to an unprecedented 10-year, $95 million deal that came fully guaranteed, even if it fired him for poor performance. The only way he could lose out on the money, the contract said, was if he materially breached it, was convicted of a crime or engaged in “conduct which, in the University’s reasonable judgment, would tend to bring public disrespect, contempt or ridicule on the University.”USA Today
Michigan State hired an outside Title IX lawyer to look into Tracy’s complaint and the investigation was completed in July with a formal hearing scheduled for October.
MSU is still healing from another cloud of sexual assaults and the school’s handling of the case, involving Dr. Larry Nassar.