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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Mel Tucker Firing Would Prevent $80M Buyout on Historic Contract

  • Michigan State could be off the hook for paying Tucker the remainder of a 10-year, $95 million pact.
  • Tucker was suspended on Sept. 10 after a USA Today report of alleged sexual harassment.
Michigan State head coach Mel Tucker speaks at post game press conference after 31-7 win over Central Michigan at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing.
Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK

On Monday, amidst an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment, Michigan State fired head football coach Mel Tucker for cause, meaning the school could be off the hook for paying Tucker the nearly $80 million left on his contract.

In a letter to Tucker, the university claims that Tucker’s conduct triggered the Early Termination Provision of the 10-year, $95 million pact he signed in 2021, which made him sixth-highest-paid coach in college football, the highest-paid Black coach in college football history, and the highest-paid in the Big Ten.

MSU says the former head coach materially breached the agreement and engaged in conduct that “in the University’s reasonable judgment, would tend to bring public disrespect, contempt, or ridicule upon the University.”

In a statement, MSU vice president and director of intercollegiate athletics Alan Haller said that Tucker will have seven days to respond and present a case for why he should not be fired for cause.

Haller also clarified that terminating Tucker’s job does not conclude its investigation into him. The two sides are scheduled to meet for a hearing on Oct. 5.

Michigan State suspended Tucker on Sept. 10 after a USA Today report found that he allegedly sexually harassed Brenda Tracy, an activist who had been brought in to educate MSU athletes on sexual violence. Tucker denied the allegations and it’s currently unknown if he will appeal the university’s decision.

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