Tucker action to MSU: ‘Miscarriage of justice’

  • Pete Thamel, ESPNSep 19, 2023, 11:07 AM ET

Suspended Michigan State football coach Mel Tucker responded Tuesday to the school’s notice that it means to fire him for cause, saying in a declaration that “other intentions are at play” and there’s been a “bias” against him throughout the process.After getting alerted Monday of the school’s intention to fire him, Tucker was offered seven days, per his agreement, to react to the alert in the wake of a pending sexual misconduct case brought by Brenda Tracy, a sexual awareness speaker.In Tucker’s

statement to ESPN on Tuesday early morning, he declared his firing is a “miscarriage of justice” and came since of “Ms. Tracy’s inappropriate public disclosure of the entire 1,200-page investigation file regarding her baseless problem against me.

“Let’s be clear. I don’t think MSU plans to fire me due to the fact that I confessed to an entirely consensual, private relationship with another adult who gave one presentation at MSU, at my wish, over 2 years back.”

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By firing him for cause, Michigan State is aiming to prevent paying Tucker the more than $79 million remaining on his contract. The declaration by Tucker portends litigation to declare that money, as it says he looks forward to “one day obtaining discovery against MSU, consisting of the Trustees and the Athletic Department.”

In his statement, Tucker mentions what he perceives as multiple defects in how MSU managed his case, consisting of the recent decision to fire him for cause after initially suspending him as an “interim measure” last week.One of Tucker’s biggest problems is the timeline of when MSU authorities learnt about the allegations. The grievance was filed in December 2022.

“MSU learnt about the details on which it apparently relies to end my agreement because at least March 2023,” Tucker stated in the letter. “Yet just after Ms. Tracy and possibly others dripped the private examination report to the press, did MSU suddenly decide this exact same details warrants termination.”

Tucker said that he wasn’t given reasonable process, as he was arranged to have a hearing in early October. In an earlier statement, he referred to that hearing as “a sham.” Instead, he got the notice that he was to be fired nearly one week after being suspended without pay.

“About one week later on, without any new details, MSU transferred to end me– sanctimoniously and illogically declaring this action has no impact on the continuous investigation,” Tucker said in the statement. “The investigation is designed to identify if I broke policy. I did not. However regardless, basic fairness needs that procedure play out prior to any sanction(s) are identified.”

Tucker stated MSU neglected his ask for a medical leave, with the notification of his shooting coming not long after that request.

“MSU sent its notification of intent to end simply days after I emailed [Michigan State athletic director] Alan Haller asking for a medical leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act for a serious health condition,” Tucker stated in the declaration. “I can only conclude that MSU does not care about my rights, the fact, or its future liability for policing its workers’ private lives.”

On Monday, Haller sent out a five-page letter to Tucker and his representative declaring the “intent to terminate” his contract for cause, mentioning “a body of indisputable proof of misconduct that requires termination.”

Tracy’s sexual misconduct grievance in December 2022 includes claims of undesirable advances from Tucker, including him masturbating without her permission during a phone call in April 2022. Tucker admitted to masturbating, but claimed in a declaration recently that it became part of a consensual intimate relationship.Tucker, who is married

, included the letter that he discovers “solace” in the detective concluding they had a “individual relationship.”

“Tracy expressed grant every aspect of our relationship,” Tucker stated in his declaration Tuesday. “I look forward to one day getting discovery against MSU, including the Trustees and the Athletic Department, to see what they truly knew and said about this matter, in addition to their motives in dealing with the whole investigative process.”

In Michigan State’s letter to Tucker, they describe Tracy as a supplier, as she was employed to come talk to the Michigan State group about sexual assault awareness.

“The unprofessional and dishonest behavior is especially egregious given that the Vendor at concern was contracted by the University for the sole function of educating student-athletes on, and preventing circumstances of, inappropriate sexual misbehavior,” Haller wrote in the letter to Tucker.Tucker’s claim

of a double standard comes from how the school dealt with leaks in the case. He states that on Aug. 25, well before the story went public, he “required an examination into leaks.”

Just recently, after Tracy’s attorney suffered a leak of her name, the school employed an outdoors law practice to investigate and declared confidentiality “is critical.”

“So when I complain, absolutely nothing occurs; when she complains, MSU acts?” Tucker stated in his declaration Tuesday. “This double basic shows the predisposition versus me throughout this process.”

Tucker has been replaced by employee Harlon Barnett, who is serving as the interim coach. Previous MSU coach Mark Dantonio has also signed up with the staff in a specialist function and as a sounding board for Barnett.ESPN’s Dan Murphy added to this report.

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