UPDATE: MSU Deputy Spokesman Dan Olsen says the university has received the letter sent by Tucker’s team and is “reviewing it to determine appropriate next steps.”
LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Mel Tucker, the suspended head coach of MSU football, is contesting the university’s plan to terminate his contract for cause.
In a 25-page letter sent Monday afternoon, Jennifer Z. Belveal and John F. Birmingham Jr. argue Tucker’s actions with University contractor, rape survivor and anti-sexual harassment education Brenda Tracy, have been improperly investigated and handled by the university. And, the two argue, did not rise to the level of a termination ‘for cause,” let alone ‘moral turpitude.”
The letter included 12 pages outlining his defense and 13 pages of exhibits. The contract in question was a 10-year, $95 million employment deal. About $80 million was left in the contract.
Last week, Athletic Director Alan Haller informed Tucker by letter the university was seeking to terminate his contract based on publicly available information about Tucker’s relationship with Tracy. Specifically, Tucker has admitted to masturbating during a phone conversation with Tracy.
The investigation into Tucker was revealed on Sunday, Sept. 10 by USA Today. That afternoon, Tucker was suspended without pay. University officials said they did not have access to details of the allegations until they were published by USA Today. Tucker’s representatives argue the university has been aware of the allegations for months and ought to have moved sooner.