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#pounditFriday, February 23, 2024

Michigan State to fire head coach Mel Tucker

Mel Tucker on the field

Michigan State’s head coach Mel Tucker walks the field before the football game against Central Michigan on Friday, Sept. 1, 2023, at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing. Photo Credit: Nick King/Lansing State Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

Michigan State is moving forward with plans to fire head coach Mel Tucker for cause in response to sexual harassment allegations.

Michigan State athletic director Alan Haller said in a statement Monday that the university has “provided Mel Tucker with written notice of intent to terminate his contract for cause.” Tucker has seven days to respond to the notice with reasons he should not be fired for cause, but the university has clearly made its decision.

Tucker has been accused by sexual assault prevention advocate Brenda Tracy of sexual harassment stemming from alleged encounters in 2022. Tucker has denied all allegations, claimed the relationship was consensual, and accused Tracy of trying to “destroy” his life.

The university had suspended Tucker without pay last Sunday as an internal investigation continued, but did not commit to firing him. That may have been the plan all along, with the suspension simply a formality.

Michigan State appeared to be on the right track under Tucker in 2021 when they briefly became a surprise College Football Playoff contender. That successful season got Tucker a 10-year, $95 million contract extension. By seeking to fire Tucker for cause, the university is seeking to avoid having to pay Tucker the remainder of that contract.

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