Tucker letter sent to MSU alleges ‘new evidence’

Mel Tucker’s lawyers sent a 106-page letter that presents “new evidence” to the school’s interim president and board of trustees on Thursday morning as the administrative hearing tied to the misconduct allegations against the former Michigan State coach begins.

The letter, which is from one of Tucker’s attorneys and was released widely to the media, says in pointed language that the woman who brought forth the claim against Tucker that led to his firing, sexual assault awareness speaker Brenda Tracy, “appears to have made a career out of misleading and manipulating people.”

The letter attempts to detail contradictions in the allegations from Tracy, who filed the formal complaint against Tucker with the school’s Office of Civil Rights in December of 2022. It says that she “manipulated a key witness,” “deleted key evidence” and selectively gave transcripts to the Office of Institutional Equity.

Tracy’s attorney, Karen Truszkowski, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Truszkowski previously told ESPN that she and Tracy would be appearing at the school’s sexual misconduct hearing.

Michigan State fired Tucker for cause on Sept. 27. The following day Tucker’s lawyers sent a note to preserve documentation “in anticipation of litigation.” At stake for Tucker beyond the hearing is the $79 million he had remaining on his contract. After initially suspending Tucker without pay pending the hearing, the school fired him saying he violated the moral turpitude clause and his admitted actions — including a phone sex encounter with Tracy — brought ridicule on the school.

The letter sent out on Thursday is the latest in a tense back-and-forth between Tucker’s side and the school, with this letter being sent by attorney Jennifer Z. Belveal. It attempts to catch Tracy in conflicting statements, the letter uses dozens of messages between her and her assistant, who is now deceased. It does not say specifically how the messages were obtained.

The letter, in part, alleges that Tracy’s motivations for filing the complaint are financial. Tucker’s attorney shared what they say are partially redacted parts of conversations Tracy had with her former assistant where they discuss her finances and the notion that she would be open to settling her claims with Tucker.

“I’m filing a formal complaint with MSU… [My lawyer] said after that we can let him know that we want to come to an agreement then it doesn’t have to go to a hearing or anything unless he wants it to.”

According to the messages provided by Tucker’s lawyers, she later added: “Money is my only recourse to make him feel like there is a punishment” and “when they do the money I should make him pay me 10k directly.”

The letter criticizes the MSU investigation for failing “to attempt to get fulsome text exchanges” for the Office of Institutional Equity investigation. It alleges the school left out Tracy having good feelings about her experience after Michigan State’s spring game.

“Blessings on blessings when you stay the course and do what’s right. . . . No regrets. My heart is good and so is my conscience[.]”

That messages came before the alleged phone sex encounter that became one of the focuses of the claim. Tracy said it wasn’t consensual and Tucker has disagreed.

The letter was released minutes after the hearing began on Thursday morning. Tucker will not attend the hearing, the letter states, because of a medical conditional that the letter doesn’t disclose.

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