EAST LANSING, Mich. (FOX 2) - Michigan State University says it plans to fire its head football coach Mel Tucker following a week of scandal that started with a bombshell report he was being investigated for sexual harassment and his suspension.
A notice of intent to fire Tucker was filed with the MSU administration and Board of Trustees, according to a statement from the athletic director.
"I, with the support of administration and board, have provided Mel Tucker with written notice of intent to terminate his contract for cause," read a statement from Alan Haller. "This notification process is required as part of his existing contract. The notice provides Tucker with seven calendar days to respond and present reasons to me and the interim president as to why he should be terminated for cause."
Tucker was previously suspended from MSU after the investigation detailing his interactions with Brenda Tracy, including a phone call where he masturbated and used sexual comments, was published last Sunday in USA Today.
Tucker was likely never going to coach at Michigan State again. The latest announcement shows the school doesn't plan to pay him any of his remaining contract. He had about $80 million left on a $95 million contract he signed two years ago.
The contract included a stipulation that he would forfeit the remaining money if he exhibited "conduct which constitutes moral turpitude." Tucker's firing will go into effect on Sept. 26, a letter sent to Tucker said.
Tracy had been hired to speak to the school's football team after forming a partnership with Tucker. She later lodged a complaint against him last December and an investigation was complete earlier in July.
MSU's decision Monday does not conclude the case that Tracy has brought against Tucker, the university said. A hearing on that matter is scheduled for Oct. 5 and 6.
According to the letter announcing the university's intent to fire Tucker, it said his "admitted behavior" breached his contract with the university. It called his behavior "highly inappropriate and improper" to have an affair with a vendor of the university, "let alone an Honorary Captain of the Football Team, whose mission is to educate coaches and student-athletes, and specifically the University's Football student-athletes under your direction, on sexual misconduct.
"It is decidedly unprofessional and unethical to flirt, make sexual comments, and masturbate while on the phone with a University vendor. The unprofessional and unethical behavior is particularly egregious given that the Vendor at issue was contracted by the University for the sole purpose of educating student-athletes on, and preventing instances of, inappropriate sexual misconduct.
"Your admitted conduct engaging in sexual extramarital behavior with a University vendor rises to the level of a material breach of your contractual duty to the University to conduct yourself in a professional and ethical manner "at all times."
After he was suspended last weekend, Tucker released a statement blasting the accusations and the university's process for investigating complaints, calling it "so flawed that there is no other opportunity for the truth to come out."
The school's letter that was sent to Tucker has been included below: