What happened to Mel Tucker? Here’s what we know about the unexpected turn his coaching career took!

Mel Tucker, formerly regarded as one of the highest-paid college football coaches, is now embroiled in a scandal that threatens to derail his career.

He has gone from guiding Michigan State’s football team to maybe coaching his final game in less than two years.

The Meteoric Ascension

Tucker’s rise to the top of the college football coaching ranks was defined by rapid success.

In November 2021, he signed a massive 10-year, $95 million contract with the Spartans after an excellent 11-2 season.

What happened to Mel Tucker? Here’s what we know about the unexpected turn his coaching career took!
Mel Tucker (Source: Instagram)

The season resulted in a Peach Bowl triumph and a No. 9 AP ranking.

The Unexpected Drop

The glory, though, was fleeting. The following year, the team’s success plummeted to a poor 5-7 record. Despite a 2-0 start to the 2023 season, the programme was rocked by charges that would derail Tucker’s career.

What happened to Mel Tucker?

Brenda Tracy, a rape survivor and sexual assault campaigner, made sexual harassment claims against Tucker, which led to his demise.

What happened to Mel Tucker? Here’s what we know about the unexpected turn his coaching career took!
What happened to Mel Tucker?

Tracy accused Mel Tucker of participating in nonconsensual phone sex, mailing unwanted presents, and attempting to begin a sexual relationship on multiple occasions.

The Legal Fight

Tucker, in the wake of such vehement accusations, said that he and Tracy had a love relationship and that she was interested in a “sugar daddy” arrangement.

Tracy, on the other hand, rejected these charges, claiming that she made it plain that they would just be friends.

The Investigation Begins

The university immediately started an investigation, which was overseen by Title IX attorney Rebecca Leitman Veidlinger.

Interviews were done, evidence was analysed, and Tucker’s efforts to stop the probe were futile. Veidlinger set a hearing for the lawsuit during Michigan State’s bye week in October.

Suspended without pay

Michigan State suspended Tucker without pay after a devastating USA Today exposé on his activities was published.

Interim University President Teresa Woodruff and Athletic Director Alan Haller cited “new developments” as reasons for the move.

His suspension was cited as the result of “nts.” They confessed that until the report was issued, they were unaware of the entire nature of the investigation.

Tucker’s Reaction

Tucker issued a statement in response to the claims, describing the April phone call as a “mutual, private event” between consenting adults.

He categorically refuted Tracy’s allegations, calling the probe a “sham” and an attempt at “character assassination.” Tucker even hinted at another reason for terminating his contract.

The Unwelcome Exposure

The public publication of Brenda Tracy’s identity without her consent was one unsettling part of this tale. Tracy had first wanted to remain anonymous in order to respect the inquiry process.

This option, however, was taken away from her, requiring her legal team to take action to defend her.

The Way Forward

Tucker’s future remains uncertain as the Title IX hearing approaches. It will take place on the 5th and 6th of October, during the university’s bye week.

In the meantime, secondary coach Harlon Barnett has taken over as interim head coach, with former Spartans head coach Mark Dantonio returning as an associate head coach.

The Situation

If Tucker is fired, he might be owed $9.5 million every year until 2032. This, however, is dependent on whether he is fired with or without cause.

A dismissal without cause would release the university from all financial obligations owed to him under his contract.

Mel Tucker’s career, which had reached new heights, is now in jeopardy as the university conducts its investigation and the collegiate football world waits in anticipation.

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