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Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

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Evans: Mel Tucker’s suspension begs the question, ‘When will enough be enough?’

Head coach Mel Tucker/ Photo credit: Sarah Smith

After three seasons, Mel Tucker’s time at Michigan State has come to an end. Despite being placed on unpaid administrative leave after the publishing of a report from USA Today that accuses Tucker of sexual harassment, he has, for all intents and purposes, coached his last game at MSU. 

Tucker’s suspension, and his inevitable removal, is another demoralizing moment within MSU’s athletic department, on a campus that has grown far too accustomed to scandals and tragedy. It is another gut-wrenching chapter in the university’s complicated history, that once again plasters MSU’s name across televisions and websites across the world, portraying the school in a negative light that it has become desperate to get away from, but cannot seem to avoid.  

However, this is no longer just about sports. Nor is it just about the university itself. 

It is about a community that has done nothing but support Michigan State University, only to be disappointed, deceived, and left in the dark yet again. It is about a student body that has annually rallied around MSU through all of its trials and tribulations, while dealing with the trauma, disappointment, and challenges that encompass being a student on this campus during such a tumultuous time period. Far too often, there is another dark cloud casted over the school in some capacity, with even larger ones hanging overhead from a not-so-distant past, leaving students to watch their university wade through murky waters that, despite their familiarity, never become easier to navigate. 

Sunday’s press conference provided very little additional information on the matter. 

Three questions were allowed from the media, with all of them pertaining to football in some capacity. Three. The transparency, or lack thereof, has only amplified the restlessness, confusion and apprehension amongst students, alums, and fans alike, and brings another looming situation over the athletic department for the foreseeable future. According to a university spokeswoman, Title IX protocol kept MSU athletic director Alan Haller, university president Teresa K. Woodruff, and MSU’s leadership in the dark on the explicit details of Tucker’s case. Despite being made aware that a report had been filed in December, leadership was informed on some of the aforementioned details Saturday night. However, the school failed to mention this in the press conference, adding another oddity to an already troubling situation. Once again, MSU is in crisis mode, leaving the football program to navigate the rest of its season while simultaneously being engulfed in a storm that is only beginning.

At some point, when is it enough? When do the tragedies, acts of misconduct, and scandals finally stop? When does this community get to fully heal from its wounds, without another one opening in the meantime? When can this community provide its unwavering support without dealing with constant disappointment, heartache and turmoil?

There isn’t a clear answer on when or if that happens. Moments like Sunday’s press conference serve as a harsh reminder of the glaring issues that have re-exposed MSU’s shortcomings, and alienated everyone else in the process. 

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About the Contributor
A.J. Evans, Sports Editor
A.J. Evans (He/Him/His) is the Sports Editor at Impact 89FM. He is from Southfield, Michigan and is majoring in journalism. He has covered football, women's and men's basketball for the Impact. “Stay far from timid, only make moves when your heart’s in it, and live the phrase sky’s the limit….see you chumps on top.” - Biggie  

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