A 73-page report issued Wednesday found former Michigan State football coach Mel Tucker violated the school’s sexual harassment policy, according to multiple reports.
Tucker was accused of sexual harassment by prominent rape survivor and activist Brenda Tracy, and Michigan State subsequently fired Tucker in September.
The new report, according to USA Today, stated that a university hearing officer found that Tucker sexually harassed and exploited Tracy during an April 2022 phone call on which he masturbated and made sexual comments to her without her consent.
The call took place eight months after Tucker had hired Tracy to speak to the football team about sexual violence prevention.
The hearing officer, Virginia-based Title IX attorney Amanda Norris Ames, also found that Tucker had engaged in unwanted sexual advances toward Tracy in the months prior to the call.
Tucker reportedly “engaged in quid pro quo” sexual harassment, according to USA Today.
“My first reaction was tears of relief,” Tracy said, per the outlet.
With his actions, Tucker violated multiple terms of his contract, the Associated Press reported.
“In sum, considering all available evidence, the Resolution Officer finds, by a preponderance of the evidence, that there is sufficient evidence to conclude that Respondent subjected Claimant to unwelcome conduct based on sex when he FaceTime video called Claimant without a shirt on; when he attempted to meet up with Claimant alone following the Spring Game; and when he non-consensually masturbated and used graphic, sexual language on a phone call with Claimant,” the report concluded.
Tucker was suspended by Michigan State on Sept. 10 after Tracy went public with the allegations, and he was fired for cause on Sept. 27.
Tucker has claimed that he and Tracy were in a consensual relationship.
Ames wrote in the report that Tucker’s repeated contradictions to investigators made it hard to believe his account.
In public statements, Tucker has tried to cast doubt on the fairness and validity of the school’s inquiry and did not take part in an Oct. 5 hearing due to a “serious medical condition,” his lawyers said.
“A cursory reading of the facts and timeline should cause any fair-minded person to conclude that other motives are at play,” he said in September.
Tucker signed a contract extension with Michigan State prior to the start of the 2022 football season and he had roughly $80 million remaining on the 10-year deal at the time of his dismissal.
According to ESPN, the university has not commented because the investigation has not finished as Tucker has not decided if he’ll appeal yet.
He now has 10 days to appeal the decision.
The ex-Michigan State football coach can argue that the hearing officer was biased, the outcome was unjust or the university didn’t follow its own policies, per USA Today.
While Tucker is no longer an employee of the university, he can still be handed a campus ban, restrictions on access to school activities, along with restitution for the victims, USA Today reported.
Tucker previously coached in the NFL and was at the helm at Michigan State for three-and-a-half seasons after one year at Colorado in 2019.