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Michigan State terminates Mel Tucker’s contract for cause

The formal end of the Mel Tucker came from a short statement released by AD Alan Haller.

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Richmond v Michigan State Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images

Michigan State University formally served a notice of termination to former football head coach Mel Tucker.

In a written statement, University Athletic Director Alan Haller stated:

“I, with the support of administration and board, have provided Mel Tucker with written notice of intent to terminate his contract for cause…. This action does not conclude the ongoing Office for Civil Rights case; that rigorous process will continue.”

Mel Tucker was suspended last Monday after USA TODAY detailed Title IX accusations made against the coach. According to the report, a vendor of the University accused Mel Tucker of sexual harassment. Mel Tucker and his legal representatives have denied the accusations claiming the core incident was consensual and outside the jurisdiction of the University.

CONTEXT: Mel Tucker Suspended Amidst Reports of Sexual Harassment Accusations

It’s clear from the statement released today that Michigan State will pursue the Title IX hearing scheduled for October 5th and 6th. The University is also investigating the source of the leak that identified Tucker’s accuser to the media.

Just over two years ago, Mel Tucker signed a 10-year, $95-million dollar fully guaranteed contract. The only exception to the financial guarantee was if Mel Tucker was fired for cause. For example, his contract states that if Tucker “engages in any conduct which constitutes moral turpitude or which, in the University’s sole judgement, would tend to bring public disrespect, contempt or ridicule upon the university.”

With about $75-million left on the contract, it appears the University intends to void the remainder of the contract. In a four-page letter to Mel Tucker’s legal representatives obtained by The Detroit News, AD Haller wrote:

“The university has become aware of various facts that have led to the unfortunate decision to terminate your employment for cause. At this point, the university has amassed a body of undisputed evidence of misconduct that warrants termination for cause.”

According to the statement issued by Michigan State, Mel Tucker and his legal representatives have seven days to challenge the “for cause” element of the termination.

This abrupt end of the Mel Tucker era at Michigan State leaves many questions unresolved on and off the field.