Mel Tucker argues funds shared with estranged wife are vital to pursue lawsuit against Michigan State

Former Michigan State University head soccer coach Mel Tucker is working to maintain his divorce proceedings as personal as doable, whereas persevering with to pursue a wrongful termination lawsuit in opposition to his former employer.

Tucker submitted a request to the decide overseeing the proceedings to stop media scrutiny of his ongoing divorce, the USA Immediately reported. Tucker’s attorneys filed a movement for a protecting order and requested the decide to seal the record of the case.

In response to court docket paperwork, Tucker requested an Ingham County Circuit Court docket to vacate the mutual restraining order that was granted final month. Per the phrases of the order, Tucker can not spend cash of their joint accounts to cowl his private authorized charges. However, from Tucker’s standpoint, he wants entry to the funds to have the ability to proceed paying the charges to have the prospect to win the continuing authorized motion.


Head coach Mel Tucker of the Michigan State Spartans earlier than a recreation in opposition to the Richmond Spiders at Spartan Stadium Sept. 9, 2023, in East Lansing, Mich. (Mike Mulholland/Getty Pictures)

Tucker was suspended in September after sexual harassment allegations in opposition to him had been made public in a USA Immediately investigation. Brenda Tracy, an activist and rape survivor, stated Tucker sexually harassed her throughout a cellphone name in April 2022. A number of months later, Tracy filed a grievance with the varsity’s Title IX workplace.


Tracy is thought for her work with faculty groups educating athletes about sexual violence. Michigan State paid her $10,000 to share her story with the soccer workforce.

Tucker acknowledged having cellphone intercourse along with her however stated it was consensual. He signed a $95 million, 10-year contract in November 2021. The college fired Tucker for cause two weeks after he was suspended, saying his actions subjected the establishment to ridicule, breaching his contract. The separation successfully canceled what was left on Tucker’s contract.

Mel Tucker coaches against Central Michigan

Head coach Mel Tucker of the Michigan State Spartans reacts after a play within the fourth quarter of a recreation in opposition to the Central Michigan Chippewas at Spartan Stadium Sept. 1, 2023, in East Lansing, Mich. (Mike Mulholland/Getty Pictures)

Jo Ellyn Tucker, Mel’s spouse of 25 years, filed for divorce in April. Just a few weeks after submitting the divorce grievance, Jo Ellyn was granted a restraining order after claiming the previous college football coach spent round $1.5 million from the couple’s joint funds to cowl authorized payments. Jo Ellyn additionally acknowledged that Mel transferred cash from his retirement accounts to accounts she didn’t have entry to.

Michigan State at Media Days

Head coach Mel Tucker of the Michigan State Spartans speaks at Massive Ten soccer media days at Lucas Oil Stadium July 26, 2023, in Indianapolis. (Michael Hickey/Getty Pictures)

Tucker disputed his spouse’s assertions, saying she was conscious of his plans to consolidate his retirement accounts. He additionally argued that if he wins the lawsuit in opposition to MSU, each he and Jo Ellyn would reap the rewards of a large monetary acquire.


Tracy and her nonprofit, Set The Expectation, filed an intent to sue Tucker and MSU in March. She is accusing Tucker of harming her fame and hurting her potential to earn cash sooner or later and inflicting her psychological and emotional hurt. Tracey is in search of damages in extra of $75 million.

Tucker started his teaching profession with Nick Saban as a graduate assistant for the Spartans in 1997. He returned to the varsity with one of many greatest contracts in faculty sports activities after main Colorado for one season and serving as an assistant coach at Georgia, Alabama and Ohio State.

Tucker additionally labored in the NFL, main the Jacksonville Jaguars as interim coach in the course of the 2011 season.

The Related Press contributed to this report.

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