Monday, September 11, 2023

Tuck and Cover

I woke up Sunday morning to the news that MSU head football coach Mel Tucker was being accused of sexual harassment against a sexual harassment advocate that has spoken to the Michigan Football team.  

In 2018, Harbaugh had her speak to his team and made her an honorary captain that year.  “We all learned so much from Brenda,” Harbaugh said in the press conference. “I did personally and I know all our guys did. She’s amazing. Her story is amazing; her work is amazing; what she’s accomplishing is amazing. The guys really appreciate her. Not just the level of adversity, but what she’s done with her life and how she’s impacting anybody that will listen.”

Brenda tweeted this in 2019@CoachJim4UM is the first Coach in the country to make a commitment to bring me in every year to work w his incoming players & staff. Please say hello to the next class of @UMichFootball players & coaches to #SetTheExpectation

MSU leadership moved quickly on Sunday when the allegations became public and suspended Mel Tucker without pay for the 2022 harassment.  My first thought was how in the world did this take so long?  Surely, the leaders at Michigan State knew of this serious allegation prior to Sunday?

Per Dan Murphy ESPN, MSU leaders knew there was a complaint filed against Mel Tucker in December, but because of Title IX protocol they did not know any of the specifics until Saturday night.  Most of the MSU Board of Regents didn't even know of the complaint until they read it in the media on Sunday.  

As this story was unfolding on Sunday, reports were that MSU hired a law firm to do an internal investigation that was delivered to MSU in late July.  It is still unclear if MSU leadership (AD and President) knew of the findings of that report in the summer.  

My first reaction was that MSU knew of this and sat on it, hoping the media wouldn't find out and that the Title IX hearing on October 5th (during MSU's bye week) would all be swept under the rug.  Now, I'm not so sure that is accurate.  

Even if the MSU leadership acted swifty on Sunday, when they learned of this, they again made a huge mistake reading the room.   They quickly informed the team and made secondary coach Harlon Bennett the interim head coach but then brought back known "look the other way regarding serious criminal charges" former head coach Mark Dantonio as associate head coach.  

Mark is not John Beilen, who is the cleanest of all coaches.  Mark has a long history of players going to jail or getting arrested and then reinstating them immediately so they can play on Saturday.  There is a reason Mark didn't land another job after he left East Lansing and this is a really bad choice in this situation.

I don't expect "Tuck" to ever coach at MSU again.  This also gives MSU the ability to void his $100M contract that still has $80M left on it.  Which is probably something they wanted to do anyway, as Tuck has not been able to put a winning program together after finding the best RB in the country buried on Wake Forrest's depth chart.   The Colorado program he left is now in "Primetime" with Coach Prime and his best recruit at MSU is catching touchdowns for Florida State. 


Goblu said...

Whole new meaning to "tuck's a coming"...

Weird how some programs just seem to breed sleazy coaches. UM isn't perfect, but man I would have a hard time being for Sparty.

Froglipps said...

Actually, this is possibly not a good situation for Michigan, that is Michigan State gets a Mulligan after signing a "Weiss like" forever contract with a loser.

Now Michigan State has a chance to bring in winner (who could pull a stunt like Deon Sanders) .... I live in fear that they grab Mike Hart, as Michigan State is grasping for straws.

I do apologize for my treatment of Ron, I have to understand that some people's feeling our hurt when they hear the "real world" spoken to them in real terms ...not baby talked like Mommma talks to you.

Goblu said...

Mike Hart (little brother source) isn't ever going to State.

I read your several comments yesterday, you just come across as angry over many hours. This is a happy blog, so think that is what Ron was getting at.

Chowman said...

Too bad, Tuck is one of my 3 favorite MSU coaches, right been Bobby Williams and John L Smith!

Seriously how tone deaf can you be? Never thought he was a very good coach, K9 covered up a lot of warts, but it just shows he's probably even a worse person. You take this incident and add to how he left CSU after one year is a window into his character! The reason MSU and their boosters rushed to sign him to that $95M contract is they were afraid he was going to once again bolt to a team like LSU. Personally never thought he was a real candidate for LSU but I'm sure he and his agent used that as leverage with MSU.

MichiganMan said...

My heart goes out to the victim.... for her to re-live what previously occurred. There are so many women out there why Tucker had to select her. Poor judgment on his part.

Blue for life....

Chowman said...

Also Markie D was not the first MSU coach to look the other way when it came to criminal activity. That is almost an institutional thing there. And lets be honest, it happens all over college football, its just seems to be worse at some schools. Michigan is not immune to that either. Less not forget Brendan Gibbons and Frank Clark. I won't include the Mazi Smith deal as I think some in the media blew that way out of proportion.

Tom said...

"If your neighbor's house burns down, that doesn't make your house look any better." - Lou Holtz

We have had our own issues of far greater magnitude - as has MSU. I'd keep quiet on this and move on. This is MSUs headache and no one should be celebrating.

Froglipps said...

Michigan State cannot let this drag out for months .... their early recruiting class will be decimated... might have to rely on a Deon Sanders script. I'm sorry, but the look on Mel's face gives me the impression of a high I.Q. of 82.

Maybe Mel and Rich Rod can write a football "how to book", that is how to throw you career down the drain in 10 easy lessons.

Blue said...

Would not be surprised if Tom Izzo was the force in helping bring Dantonio back as associate heat coach, after all the two when coaching together were very close (and probably still are), and Izzo does have leverage after all the Spartan football building is named after him.

Considering the current circumstances this was another terrible decision by those involved up at East Lansing.

Chowman said...

Tom: well said, thank you!

Froglipps: They kind of have to wait for the Title IX hearing, then they can walk away 100% of Tuck's contract due to him violating the morality clause.

Blue: I think Barnett had some say in that too. Dantonio is the one that hired him and from what I've heard been somewhat of a mentor.