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Tucker to appeal MSU’s sexual harassment decision

October 26, 2023
Head coach Mel Tucker walks down Beal St ahead of Michigan State’s home opener against Western Michigan at Spartan Stadium on Sept. 2, 2022.
Head coach Mel Tucker walks down Beal St ahead of Michigan State’s home opener against Western Michigan at Spartan Stadium on Sept. 2, 2022. —
Photo by Chloe Trofatter | The State News

Fired MSU football coach Mel Tucker will appeal the resolution officer's decision that he violated university policy by sexually harassing and exploiting rape survivor and advocate Brenda Tracy. The months-long Title IX investigation into his behavior ended yesterday, according to Tracy’s attorney, Karen Truszkowski, with the hearing officer concluding that his account contained false claims and contradictions. 

Sports Agent Neil Cornrich released a statement on behalf of Tucker that said the decision comes as “absolutely no surprise,” and is “fraught with countless factual and legal errors.” 

He promised an immediate appeal, and a lawsuit “if necessary.” 

“The appeal will include evidence recently discovered and previously suppressed by Ms. Tracy,” Cornrich wrote in the statement. 

Fourteen minutes into MSU's hearing, Tucker and his attorneys publicly released a 106-page document containing “new evidence” and messages from Tracy’s private conversations with a recently-deceased friend and colleague, Ahlan Alvarado, which they claim she withheld from investigators.

Tracy has since gotten a restraining order to prevent Tucker from releasing further information. 

Tucker has ten days to file his appeal, Tracy then has ten days to respond. After that, a new resolution officer will have 18 days to make a decision on the appeal, according to MSU’s policies

Tucker was suspended and then fired by MSU last month after Tracy came forward with her allegations publicly. The university has argued that what he already admitted to — engaging in a sexual relationship with a team vendor — was enough to terminate his contract. 

Cornrich said Tucker’s firing invalidates the purpose of the hearing, and that it would have been unlikely for MSU to overturn their prior termination given their alleged bias against Tucker. 

“Since the school chose to issue a termination PRIOR to the Hearing, the Decision is of zero practical import and merely reflects the biased and completely dysfunctional administration of the school’s OIE office,” Cornrich wrote.

He also criticized Tracy for leaking case documents to USA Today, where details of the hearing were first reported.

"It is worth noting that while Ms. Tracy has attempted to suppress her OWN prior statements on privacy grounds, she provided USA Today the Hearing Officer’s entire 70-page report within minutes of its intended confidential issuance, knowing that the Appeal Process had not yet even begun," Cornrich wrote. "This of course speaks to Ms. Tracy’s professed intention to abide by the very Administrative process she invoked."

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