Michigan State Suspends Football Coach Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations

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Mel Tucker, the head football coach at Michigan State University, was suspended without pay on Sunday amid an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct, university officials said.

Michigan State University head football coach Mel Tucker has been suspended without pay amid his fourth season with the program after sexual misconduct allegations levied against him came to light, the university announced on Sunday.

That decision comes less than 24 hours after it was revealed that he was the subject of an investigation by the school into allegations of sexual harassment that was revealed according to an ESPN report. 

That investigation, which remains open, began months ago, but with no action being taken before the start of the 2023 college football season.

Michigan State will wait until the Title IX investigation has been formally completed before making a final decision on Tucker's employment with the school, according to Action Network.

Secondary coach Harlon Barnett will serve as the interim head coach with former Spartans coach Mark Dantonio returning to the program in an advisory role.

A complaint filed last December by Brenda Tracy, a prominent rape survivor and activist against sexual violence, accused Tucker of making sexually inappropriate comments and masturbating while she "sat frozen for several minutes" during a phone conversation last April.

"The idea that someone could know me and say they understand my trauma but then re-inflict that trauma on me is so disgusting to me, it's hard for me to even wrap my mind around it," Tracy told USA Today. "It's like he sought me out just to betray me."

She also alleges numerous other inappropriate incidents. 

Tucker signed a 10-year contract worth $95 million after leading the Spartans to an 11-2 record during the 2021 season. 

MSU is 7-7 since he signed that contract, which includes a clause that let the school fire him for cause if he was found to participate in any conduct deemed immoral or embarrassing to the university.