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Opinion: Hold the phone on the Mel Tucker story | Michigan News | Detroit

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Mel Tucker, Michigan State football coach.

Since “Masturgate” broke on Sunday along with news of another sex scandal at Michigan State University, shitstorm chasers have flooded every message board from social media to sports radio. By mid-morning, rushed judgments and hasty conclusions were reaching verdicts in the case between Spartans head football coach Mel Tucker and Brenda Tracy, a sexual assault survivor turned notable prevention advocate , which, according to USA today, filed a harassment complaint in December 2022 against Tucker following an instance of phone sex, but he claims it was a consensual part of a call between the two parties the previous April. On Sunday afternoon, majorities of the angry mob spun Tucker into the sewers, but soon information regarding a delayed schedule and lost texts likely relevant to both sides’ impending arguments was revealed, along with a conference of MSU press release in the early evening during which officials assured the press and public that fair and thorough investigations were underway, consistent with the investigative and confidentiality protocols provided in Title IX procedures for the protection of accusers and accused.

Sources outside the scope of this complaint have since confirmed that MSU’s failure to disclose additional details was correct, pending previously scheduled October 5-6 formal hearings on the complaint. On Wednesday, as the waves of criticism over what happened between Tucker and Tracy continued to ebb and flow, the currents of swift and harsh accusations seemed to carry less with the closing statements.

In three words, here is what has been said so far:

Tucker’s point of view

At the risk of sounding blunt and cynical, it’s “she wanted it.” On the one hand, some will point out the classic misogyny of such a position. Tucker and Tracy had a professional relationship: Tucker invited Tracy to MSU’s campus several times to speak to his players and staff. Others might argue that the man may only be guilty of neutrally telling the truth. While the former “bullshit football coach” has yet to admit to being an asshole husband during his seminal extramarital telephone act, he insists everything he was involved in was consensual, then continued to defend his behavior. as not meeting the criteria of “misconduct however defined”. One wonders how Ms. Tucker will ultimately respond to this assertion. Then there’s the school that’s likely looking to take $80 million off its books during the October hearings. Invoking the moral turpitude clause in Tucker’s contract might be a foregone conclusion given the coach’s unapologetic assertions about how he behaved with Ms. Tracy.

Face Tucker

You would think he would approach this issue more hat in hand than anything else, for personal and professional reasons that have changed the lives of many. Granted, this guy is a wanker in more ways than one.

Tracy’s position

Tucker forced her into a situation that triggered deep, latent trauma that resulted in decision-making delayed and strained by coercion – which is how her testimony takes shape, given what little we’ve learned. (Tracy founded the nonprofit advocacy organization Set The Expectation after reporting she was gang-raped by four college football players in 1998, when she was 24.) From the time he filed his complaint (about eight months after the sexual offense reported over the phone) For her part in explaining their mutually deleted texts, Tracy cites the wounds left by past sexual predation on a psyche that short-circuited the treatment she had to do to overcome what her relationship with Tucker ultimately presented.

Face Tracy

Although it seems wrong to not show empathy and sympathy, if this matter were to go to civil court, rest assured, a court will not hesitate to question her about decisions to suppress potential evidence about Tucker’s unwanted advances toward her, and about eight months of indecision on an issue she’s dedicated to as a sexual assault survivor: relentlessly and consistently advocating against sexual assault in all its ugly forms. We understood. This second thunderbolt shook Mrs. Tracy. But with the complaint filed and scheduled for hearing, his story has been leaked. It’s time to pull herself together as much as she can and tell everything now in full. The gaps must be filled. Right now, two people on opposite sides of a fence full of holes are creating shared perceptions of problems, including a wave of views saying she could have just hung up and also questioning – albeit crudely – how a personally scarred but professionally battle-hardened campaigner against sexual offenses with laurels like Tracy’s “frozen” to the extent that she did over what was going on between her and Tucker. The case she’s litigating may ultimately require revelations about truths she’s struggled to face and erase from her phone. Lives and livelihoods are at stake. Tracy may have to redraw her part of what is otherwise untraceable due to both parties’ curiously similar decisions to remove certain conversational evidence of their relationship. While I don’t give in to questioning Tracy’s integrity, as the growing chorus of those who want to hear her connect some dots currently raises concerns, I have to say: me too.

Michigan State’s posture

It appears they have a good legal basis to fall back on. Backed by protocols and provisions in place protecting the privacy of everyone in this Title IX investigation, they state unequivocally that until the newsworthy act since admitted by a (presumably) future former coach of head football be formally considered a party and following the complaint, MSU governance feels no need to defend any perceived inaction to date or further elaborate on the relevant details and/or potential outcomes, consistent with all rules set forth for proper jurisprudence relating to Title IX jurisdiction and oversight. Between ignoring the gruesome details of Coach Tucker’s actions until the end of last weekend and staying the course already set for the final hearing in this case (which will be held during the week leave of Spartan football), MSU is standing on solid labor law ground to expel prurience from its campus and, in doing so, get its hands on the remainder of an exorbitant contract, few could blame the Sparty bean counters for discovering an unintended consequence of Tucker’s technically blatant personal and professional stupidity.

Take the school’s position

Who isn’t rooting for MSU to kick the can down the road for a man who let $80 million slip through his fingers by letting a “tough Johnson” inform his professionally representative decision-making? You don’t do that at work, do you? On a more serious note, although this latest sad, sex-related episode falls short of what MSU’s Larry Nassar nightmare was for all involved, who would not welcome a completely intolerant response from the school administration , imbued with the same level of repugnance as all reasonable people. minds, hearts and consciences with regard to sexual offenses? This “new state of Michigan” unfortunately finds itself once again in a position to prove that it is socially responsible in the face of a societal evil that has struck this university twice with particular notoriety. This time, leaders are in a preemptive position to stop sexual predation on campus and support a woman who says she said no, meant no and had no say in a school employee’s decision to demonstrate his ability to be a great wanker as a husband, a professional colleague, a role model to hundreds of young men, someone entrusted with such mentorship by as many families, a representative of a renowned academic institution and, for what it’s worth, our highest paid civil servant in the state, by far. Having to speak and guide us through another quagmire on this topic may seem too soon, right after the massacre of Nassar’s innocence. Teresa Woodruff (MSU interim president) and Alan Haller (athletic director) probably thought what we all have since Sunday: “No. Not here. Not yet.” Even so, it’s their job to take care of it, so let them work and show us what’s new about handling something like this a second time. God forbid that This may continue to happen to any degree. Everyone responsible for serving MSU must manage their affairs now, for all of our sakes.

Many have already appealed to Tucker’s story. At this point, he seems ready to take full responsibility. If it’s deserved, so be it. Meanwhile, some want to know more before opting out. Those among them may hear accusations of being tone-deaf to the sensitivities of sexual abuse. Others, lacking all the facts, may choose to defend Tucker against what they interpret as an overzealous feminist “wokeness.” By early October, the sides could divide along predictable lines of sexual and social politics. Add to that theorists who are convinced that the school is hiding the truth only to protect its interests and/or get away with turning a false complaint of sexual harassment in the workplace into a simple financial outing, and we could have quite a group chat among Michiganders in our hands. before all is said and done.

I say hold the phone. We haven’t heard everything yet. And while you’re holding on, consider this Confucianism: “Those who have no appetite for snap judgments are rarely asked to eat their own words.” »

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