Mel Tucker, Football coach at Michigan State University, has been suspended on Sunday. The coach has been accused of practicing sexual harassment and has been sent on no-pay suspension.
Allan Haller (Vice President and Director, Athletics) shared that Mel is an active suspect of a case inspection since last December and his hearing is scheduled to October 5.
As per the reports of USA Today, the coach is accused of harassing Benda Tracy, by passing sexually assaulting comments and masturbating on phone. Benda Tracy is an advocate, who has suffered being a rape victim.
Based on USA Today’s further reporting, Tucker said, that their relationship is – “mutually consensual and intimate.” and that it was not a forced phone sex. While there’s no individual confirmation from USA Today News. This report led to the suspension actions against Mel Tucker.
As per Tracy’s website, after she was raped by a group of four football players from college in 1998, she decided to set up a non-profit initiative – “Set the Expectation.” It is focused on getting rid of sexually bullying and harassing by athletes.
According to the MSU’s website, Tucker was the head coach for Spartans for the 4th season since 2020, and Tracy was the captain for the spring game in 2022. For the time-being, the junior coach – Harlon Barnett will be taking over as the acting head coach while Mark Dantonio, ex-head coach would be the new associate coach.
Teresa K. Woodruff, MSU Interim president said, “This morning’s news might sound like the MSU of old, it was not. It is not because an independent, unbiased investigation is and continues to be conducted.”
While she made necessary arrangements for any survivor of this news, she said – “If you have heard or experienced or know of behavior that does not seem appropriate, please know that you have the support and resources here at MSU.”
While there have not been any further statements or follow-ups provided by Tracy or her attorney yet, the investigation continues with all the required efforts.