EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Students at Michigan State University say they feel university leadership failed to inform them about sexual harassment allegations against the football coach Mel Tucker.
“They didn’t tell people I think is really wrong,” says Joy Kaltenbach, 20. “They really should have handled this differently. They should of told people right away.”
Brenda Tracy, and anti-rape, anti-sexual harassment educator and rape survivor, accused Tucker of sexual harassment in a formal complaint filed with the university in December 2022. The university hired an outside investigator to review the complaint and conduct a full investigation.
During the investigation, Tucker admitted to masturbating during a phone call with Tracy. He says it was consensual, but Tracy says it wasn’t. Tucker is claiming the two had a consensual, private and adult relationship.
MSU confirmed in a letter from Interim President Teresa Woodruff it was unaware of the details of the complaint or the investigatory report – which was filed July 25 – until Sunday. USA Today published the details. As a result, Tucker was suspended without pay Sunday.
“I just think it’s something the university should of told us,” says Kaltenbach, who is a sophomore. “I think it is their responsibility to inform us about those things and keep us safe. And we can’t keep ourselves safe if we don’t know who to keep ourselves safe from.”
The report was released by Tracy to USA Today. Both Tucker and Tracy had the ability to release the investigatory report. MSU is prohibited by federal and institutional rules from doing so.
Kaltenbach believes the university was trying to keep the allegations private.
“When something like this comes up, it’s just like, ‘Great, like there is someone else has done something,’” she says. “It’s so upsetting to see this over and over again. It just makes you think like, how many people is that we just don’t know about and it’s just really upsetting.”
As the university moves forward, students are calling for more transparency.
“Since the initial allegation, I would like to be in the know,” says freshman Sydney Schulte, 18. “Just have something sent out.”
Kaltenbach echoed Schulte.
“Let people know what’s going on,” she says. “Like try to inform people more.”