Suspended Michigan State soccer coach Mel Tucker mentioned Monday that allegations of sexual harassment in opposition to him are “fully false” and the intimate cellphone name he had with activist and rape survivor Brenda Tracy is exterior the scope of each Title IX and college coverage.
In a two-page assertion launched by a Detroit regulation agency, Tucker sharply criticized Tracy for suggesting their relationship was something however consensual and ripped the months-long investigation into his habits as deeply flawed.
“I can solely conclude that there’s an ulterior motive designed to terminate my contract primarily based on another issue comparable to a need to keep away from any Nasser taint, or my race or gender,” mentioned Tucker, who’s Black.
The college was fined $4.5 million 4 years in the past by the Training Division for failing to adequately reply to sexual assault complaints in opposition to Larry Nassar, a campus sports activities physician who molested elite gymnasts and different feminine athletes. The college has additionally settled lawsuits filed by Nassar victims for $500 million.
Michigan State athletic director Alan Haller suspended Tucker with out pay Sunday, lower than 24 hours after Tracy’s allegations grew to become public in a USA Right this moment report.
The college employed a Title IX legal professional to analyze Tracy’s criticism and the investigation concluded July 25. A listening to is scheduled for the week of Oct. 5 decide if Tucker violated the college’s sexual harassment and exploitation coverage.
Tucker is within the third yr of a $95 million, 10-year contract and if he’s fired for trigger, the college wouldn’t need to pay him what’s remaining on his deal.
The college might hearth Tucker for trigger if he “engages in any conduct which constitutes ethical turpitude or which, within the College’s sole judgement, would are inclined to carry public disrespect, contempt or ridicule upon the college,” in keeping with his contract. The college additionally was in a position to droop Tucker, with out pay, if he “materially breaches” his contract.
Tracy grew to become associates with Tucker over her advocacy work, however that relationship took a flip in April 2022 when Tucker masturbated throughout a cellphone name along with her, in keeping with USA Right this moment.
Tucker acknowledged to investigators final spring that he masturbated in the course of the cellphone name with Tracy, however he mentioned that they had consensual “cellphone intercourse.”
“We developed a mutual friendship that grew into an intimate, grownup relationship,” mentioned the 51-year-old Tucker, who’s married and has two kids. “A this level, my spouse and I had been estranged for a very long time.”
Tracy is understood for her work with faculty groups, educating athletes about sexual violence. She has spoken to Michigan State’s soccer crew a number of instances. She has not returned a number of messages looking for extra remark.
“Whereas I’m saddened by Ms. Tracy’s disclosure of the delicate nature of this name, let me be completely clear— it was a wholly mutual, non-public occasion between two adults residing at reverse ends of nation,” Tucker mentioned. “She initiated the dialogue that evening, despatched me a provocative image of the 2 of us collectively, advised what she might appear like with out garments, and by no means as soon as in the course of the 36 minutes did she object in any method, a lot much less grasp up the cellphone.”
AP faculty soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll