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HomeFootballNCAA FootballWhat got suspended MSU coach Mel Tucker to this point?

What got suspended MSU coach Mel Tucker to this point?

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Mel Tucker is likely to never get another big time college football coaching job again.

Not because of his lackluster overall coaching record.

Not because of his strong allegiances to some mediocre at best assistance.

The now-suspended Michigan State University football coach, who will most likely be fired following an ongoing Title IX investigation, won’t get another major job because of his arrogance.

Tucker is alleged to have sexually harassed sexual assault advocate and victim Brenda Tracy during a phone call last year. That came after Tracy made three separate trips to MSU to talk with athletes on how to not sexually assault women. 

Tracy in the late 1990s was gang raped by four men, including two Oregon State University football players and a high school recruit. She began sharing that story in 2014, eventually establishing her Set The Expectation non-profit. Set The Expectation has a mission of stopping sexual violence, and Tracy works mostly with men in an effort to better educate us. Tracy has made visits to more than 100 college campuses and has spoken with thousands of players, including those at MSU.

Tucker allegedly made multiple advances toward Tracy, all of which were allegedly rebuffed. He pressed on. In that position. At that school.

We don’t need to re-hash MSU’s recent history as it relates to major sexual assault cases. That’s where Tucker’s arrogance comes into play.

The MSU football coach, suspended without pay on Sept. 10 following the release of a new report detailing Tracy’s allegations, kept pressing Tracy. He knows her history. He’s likely been in the room multiple times while Tracy recounted the events that led her down this road of activism. Yet he still pushed on because he assumed he could wear her down.

That arrogance is why Tucker has been suspended, and why he’ll likely be fired. Bobby Petrino is still working his way back to the big leagues. Art Briles is essentially persona non grata. Both of them have much better resumes than Tucker. 

Tucker among other things has likely cost himself his livelihood to make allegedly failed attempts to seduce the woman he brought to MSU to speak to his players on how to stay out of trouble and become allies to women who have been assaulted. The man who less than two years ago signed the richest contract in college football history now stands to lose $80 million depending on the outcome of the Title IX investigation.

This isn’t about morals. I’m not the morality police. Whatever transpired between two adults is between them unless one feels uncomfortable enough to file a complaint. This entire incident is about a man who claims to be a leader of young men. A man who brought his accuser in to speak to those young men. A man who allegedly couldn’t take heed to the lessons Tracy was brought on campus to teach.

There are some questions about the leadership at MSU. And those inquiries are warranted. The brass on that campus doesn’t have the best reputation when it comes to handling these sensitive matters. Officials on Sunday didn’t make the MSU brain trust look any better.

But this is all on Tucker. How could that man, in that position, at that school, at this time not even consider what he might be getting himself into? How could Tucker not see the hypocrite he could become to his players? How could Tucker, who I’m sure knows of the language in his contract that strictly forbids that type of behavior, not think about that? How could Tucker as a Black coach — one of only 15 out of 133 in Division 1 — not think about the spot he’s in and all the people rooting for him to succeed in a sport where people like him don’t always get a fair shot?

Arrogance. That’s how.

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