The Michigan State University scandal involving football Coach Mel Tucker and his accuser is heating up.
On Monday, the suspended coach called sexual harassment allegations by Brenda Tracy "completely false," according to a statement reported in the Detroit Free Press. He acknowledged having an "intimate, adult relationship" with her and went on to say the university's investigation has been unfair and is being used as "an ulterior motive" to get MSU out of his 10-year, $95 million contract he signed in 2021.
He goes on to say:
"Ms. Tracy’s attorney told us from the very beginning that I should not lose my job over her allegations, but that it would take a lot of money to make it go away." Tucker wrote. "Her twisting of our personal relationship months after it concluded is designed to revive her career and destroy my life, precipitated by her greed.
"I have been ripped from the Team that I love, without any meaningful opportunity to tell my side of the story other than this press release. I ask everyone to consider carefully the undisputed facts outlined and reserve judgment until the full truth comes out."
On X, formerly Twitter, Tracy, who is a rape survivor and worked with Tucker to educate his players about sexual misconduct, responded:
This is just more of the same DARVO, deflection, victim blaming and lies that I’ve been dealing with now for months.
Coach Tucker has been delaying and trying to stop the investigative process since the beginning. He can’t afford to go to a hearing that determines credibility of the participating parties. I believe this statement is his way of getting out of participating in the hearing.
Tracy has accused Tucker of masturbating on the phone during a April 2022 conversation. Tucker insists it was a consensual call.
"She initiated the discussion that night, sent me a provocative 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," Tucker said.
Tucker also stated:
"I helped bring Ms. Tracy to campus in the summer of 2021 because I support her mission of sexual misconduct prevention. This single presentation was her only paid engagement with the University. We developed a mutual friendship that grew into an intimate, adult relationship; at this point, my wife and I had been estranged for a long time. Ms. Tracy and I engaged in dozens of calls throughout fall 2021 and winter 2022, many of which she initiated and which occurred late at night. We both talked about all sorts of intimate, private matters. She told me that I could trust her, and I proceeded to do just that. I was absolutely unaware of the previous negative commentsthat she had made about iconic MSU coaches, then-President (John) Engler, MSU in general, and evenher more recent criticism of Coach (Jim) Harbaugh, that I learned about during this investigation."
Watch student reaction in a video from The State News.