Michigan State makes decision on Mel Tucker, Mark Dantonio returns
After a couple of conflicting reports surfaced within the last couple of hours, we now know that Michigan State has made the decision to suspend Mel Tucker without pay following allegations of sexual harassment. With Tucker being suspended, MSU AD Alan Haller announced on Sunday evening that defensive coordinator Harlon Barnett will serve as interim head coach, while former Spartans head coach Mark Dantonio will return as associate head coach.
Why is Mel Tucker Suspended?
According to a report from USA Today, Brenda Tracy, a prominent advocate for preventing sexual assault, lodged the complaint. In her formal grievance, Tracy asserts that Tucker sent her gifts, made inquiries regarding the prospect of a romantic relationship if he were not married, and partook in inappropriate conduct, including engaging in unsolicited sexual behavior during a phone call.
Dantonio Is Willing To Lend A Helping Hand
According to MSU AD Alan Haller, he called Dantonio on Sunday morning.
“Alan, whatever you need,” Dantonio told Haller on the phone. “I'm here to help.”
Haller said that Dantonio is expected to return to East Lansing on Monday or Tuesday and that he will wear a headset or be in the booth.
He added that Dantonio “will be a tremendous resource for Harlon. Both men have a deep love for Michigan State football, Spartan athletics, the university and East Lansing community.”
Why Did MSU Wait So Long?
According to Haller, he knew about the allegations all the way back in December of 2022. When asked why he waited so long to make a decision, he said he was waiting on the university's investigation.
“I was working and waiting on the university,” Haller said.
Interim President Says This is Not the MSU of Old
Interim MSU president Teresa Woodruff insists that this is not the “MSU of Old”.
“In the MSU of today, when any report comes into the university, it is appropriately and rigorously reviewed,” Woodruff said. “Processes are fair and thorough. This morning's news might sound like the MSU of old; it was not. It is not because an independent unbiased investigation is & continues to be conducted.”
TL;DR (too long didn't read)
- Mel Tucker Suspended Following Allegations: Michigan State University has taken the decision to suspend head football coach Mel Tucker without pay. This suspension comes in response to allegations of sexual harassment made by Brenda Tracy, an advocate for preventing sexual assault.
- Interim Coaching Arrangements: In light of Tucker's suspension, Michigan State's Athletic Director, Alan Haller, has announced that defensive coordinator Harlon Barnett will step in as the interim head coach. Additionally, former Spartans head coach Mark Dantonio will return to the program in the role of associate head coach, offering his expertise and support.
- Delayed Decision Due to Investigation: Questions have arisen regarding the timing of the decision to suspend Tucker, given that the allegations were known as far back as December 2022. According to Haller, the delay was attributed to waiting for the university's investigation to conclude before taking action.
Bottom Line: Tucker Has Been Suspended
For now, Mel Tucker has been suspended without pay and Harlon Barnett will take over the head coaching duties at Michigan State. Though Tucker being suspended comes as some unexpected news for Spartan fans, they seem to be excited that Mark Dantonio is coming back to East Lansing as an associate head coach.