According to a report by the Detroit Free Press, former football coach Mel Tucker has conveyed his intention to file a wrongful termination lawsuit against Michigan State University potentially.
The outlet reveals a letter has been issued to Michigan State’s legal counsel by Tucker’s attorney, Jennifer Belveal. The letter urges the preservation of all electronic and paper records about athletic department members and other personnel in anticipation of prospective litigation.
Sports Illustrated reported that the university discharged Tucker following admissions made during an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment raised by Brenda Tracy, a prominent sexual assault activist. The allegations center around a phone call on April 28, 2022, just 12 days after the former coach designated Tracy an honorary captain. While Tracy maintains that the act was non-consensual, Tucker argues it was consensual.
SI reports Michigan State decided to terminate Tucker’s employment before the conclusion of the ongoing university investigation, which is scheduled to conclude on Oct. 6 following a two-day hearing involving Tracy, the former coach, and a third-party investigator. The university cited Tucker’s admissions of sexual comments and acts concerning Tracy, a former vendor for the school, as violations of his contract terms.
MSU claims that Tucker’s conduct breached the moral turpitude clause and the stipulation to conduct himself “professionally and ethically, with integrity and sportsmanship at all times,” as his contract outlines.
In response to these accusations, Belveal reiterated Tucker’s perspective, particularly the claim that the university exceeded its jurisdiction by delving into Tucker’s private life. A prospective lawsuit could offer him a means to pursue the compensation he was entitled to under his terminated contract.
Before his dismissal, Tucker was owed $79 million through 2032. He had previously inked a 10-year, $95 million extension with MSU in 2021 following a successful 11-2 season, which included a Peach Bowl victory, in his second year in East Lansing.
This post was written by Black Enterprise contributor Rafael Pena.