Mel Tucker, the suspended head coach of Michigan State University’s football team has been formally terminated today. The firing comes about 3-weeks after USA TODAY revealed Tucker was the subject of a Title IX complaint from a University vendor claiming sexual harassments. The University took this termination step 8-days after sending Tucker a letter informing him of their intention to fire him for cause.
Tucker and his legal counsel had 7-days to respond to the for cause assertion. In their final termination letter, Michigan State made it clear that Tucker’s 25-page response did “not provide any information that refutes or undermines the multiple grounds for termination for cause set forth in the [termination] notice.”
MSU’s termination letter to Mel Tucker. pic.twitter.com/cLIKVYrH87— Tony Paul (@TonyPaul1984) September 27, 2023
The for cause element of the firing is financially very important. Three years ago, Tucker signed a 10 year contract worth 95 million dollars. The money was guaranteed except in cases of moral turpitude, and bringing disrespect and ridicule on the University.
As seen in the termination letter, Michigan State believes Tucker’s actions clearly brought ridicule to the University. A key section of the letter (seen in the embedded tweet above) states:
“It is decidedly unprofessional and unethical to flirt, make sexual comments, and masturbate while on the phone with a University vendor….Had you not engaged in this inappropriate and unprofessional conduct, the University would not be subject to public disrespect and ridicule regarding your actions.”
Mel Tucker may lose more than $75-million dollars if this termination for cause holds up. It is widely expected that Tucker and his legal counsel will file a lawsuit to challenge the for cause determination.
This story has wide ranging implications and impacts on everyone involved including the football players Tucker used to coach. Those players will now have a 30-day window to enter the transfer portal without penalty due to the firing of their former head coach.