Michigan State officially handing pink slip to Mel Tucker with cause

After suspending Michigan State football head coach Mel Tucker, the university has now handed him noticed he will be fired with cause.
Richmond v Michigan State
Richmond v Michigan State / Mike Mulholland/GettyImages

The inevitable has now come to fruition. Mel Tucker will be fired as the head coach of Michigan State football.

After Tucker was suspended without pay by the university following allegations from activist Brenda Tracy that the Spartans head coach sexually harassed her after she spoke to the team in 2022, the school was conducting a full Title IX investigation into the allegations. Now, as reported by Nicole Auerbach of The Athletic, Tucker has been informed that his contract will be terminated.

Reports erroneously had indicated soon after the allegations surfaced that Tucker had already been fired by Michigan State. However, it was clear that the investigation was for the university to ensure they had cause for the contract termination, thus avoiding the massive buyout associated with Tucker's contract.

Michigan State football firing Mel Tucker after suspension; Buyout avoided with cause

This was always the outcome we were heading toward with Mel Tucker.

The university and athletic department were made aware of a complaint from Tracy in December 2022 but were unaware of the full details, per their statements, until September 2023. When those details came to light, there was truly no chance that Tucker retained his job -- there simply needed to be firm cause so that Michigan State did not have to pay $76 million to buy out the head coach's contract.

When Tucker was suspended, the Spartans promoted secondaries coach Harlon Barnett to interim head coach and former head coach Mark Dantonio joined the staff as a special assistant. That will remain the case for the rest of the 2023 season.

Now that the process has begun for Tucker to officially be fired, though, Michigan State football can begin its search for the replacement officially as well. In the one game since the Tucker news first came to light, the Spartans lost 41-7 in East Lansing to visiting Washington.

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