Suspended MSU Coach Mel Tucker calls accusations of sexual harassment 'completely false'

Mel Tucker, the head football coach at Michigan State University who was suspended by the athletic director following reports of a sexual harassment investigation against him says the claims are "completely false."

In a statement through Tucker's attorney, he said accuser Brenda Tracy's allegations "are devoid of any semblance of fairness for any matter of this importance…" The statement also said the scheduled hearing where investigators would determine if wrongdoing had occurred "is so flawed that there is no other opportunity for the truth to come out."

Tracy responded with a short but terse post on X, formerly known as Twitter. See it here.

"The investigation has not been fair or unbiased. I can only conclude that there is an ulterior motive designed to terminate my contract based on some other factor such as a desire to avoid any Nasser taint, or my race or gender."

The lengthy statement follows a weekend of drama for Michigan State after a report from USA Today announced the existence of an investigation against Tucker, alleging he sexually harassed a rape survivor who had been invited to the university campus to speak about sexual misconduct prevention. In it, Tucker is described as masturbating and saying sexual comments while on the phone with Tracy.

MORE: MSU football coach Mel Tucker suspended after sexual harassment allegations

On Sunday, AD Allan Haller said the school had placed Tucker on unpaid leave pending the outcome of the investigation, which was being conducted under the school's Office for Civil Rights. 

Earlier Monday, Interim President Teresa Woodruff said from the outset, the university was "focused on conducting a fair, thorough and unbiased investigation and hearing." 

"Interim measures were considered and implemented throughout the process, including increased monitoring and restrictions on Mel Tucker’s activities," she wrote in a statement to the school.

In Tucker's statement, he characterized his relationship with Tracy as "personal" and one where they shared "deeply personal and private information with each other." He also admitted to the phone call in question, but claimed it was beyond the jurisdiction of a Title IX inquiry.

"While I am saddened by Ms. Tracy's disclosure of the sensitive nature of this call, let me be perfectly clear – it was an entirely mutual, private event between two adults living at opposite ends of the country. She initiated the discussion that night, sent me a provacative picture of the two of us together, suggested what she may look like without clothes, and never once during the 36 minutes did she object in any manner, much less hang up the phone."

According to Woodruff, she, certain members of the Board of Trustees, the director of athletics were made aware of the existence of a complaint in December, but not the details of the complaint. A full report was submitted to both parties on July 25 and referred the case to a third-party resolution officer to hold a hearing.

It is scheduled for Oct. 5 and 6.

"This case is ongoing and will not conclude until there is a hearing decision and any potential appeals are completed," read Woodruff's statement Monday.

In Tucker's statement, he called the scheduled hearings "ridiculously flawed and not designed to arrive at the truth."