Following news that Athletic Director Alan Haller intends to fire head football coach Mel Tucker, Michigan State University students expressed that they were not shocked by this decision.
“I was following this story, so I’m not exactly surprised that’s what MSU is deciding to do,” computer science junior Noah Austad said. “When they suspended him, I was pretty sure that was going to be it.”
Tucker was suspended without pay on Sept. 10, after he was accused of sexually harassing Brenda Tracy, a rape survivor and advocate who worked alongside Tucker to educate his team on the importance of consent. While many students agree that moving forward with firing Tucker is the right step to take, they questioned why it took so long for MSU to act.
“I’m glad that the university’s taking action, but it seems like this was something that was happening a while ago that they were trying to keep in and handle it internally,” Austad said. “And now that it's leaked, now we’re receiving the backlash as a university.”
Students also conveyed their frustration with MSU’s long history of Title IX cases.
“I guess it does make me a little bit disappointed to be attending a university where something like this has happened before,” interdisciplinary social science senior Austin Hunt said. “There is like a pattern of things like this.”
This pattern refers to cases surrounding ex-MSU sports physician Larry Nassar and issues with the handling and certification of Title IX reports that led to former president Samuel Stanley's resignation last year.
Austad said those situations are more examples of MSU hesitating to take action.
“I feel like as soon as MSU or any university learns about something like this, they have a responsibility to act as soon as possible,” Austad said.
Neuroscience freshman Adrianna Shango said she hopes Tucker is fired because the situation makes her uncomfortable as an MSU student.
“I would feel more comfortable not having someone who has allegations... because, I don’t know, it’s scary,” Shanto said. “I don’t want my teacher or something to be a weirdo, especially the football coach. It’s just gross.”