A BIG Mistake Here …

Here in Curmudgeon Central, one of the guiding principles is for me to admit when I am wrong.  That is the whole reason behind writing post-mortems for my NFL predictions and assigning grades to them; that is why I include corrections to facts provided by the “reader in Houston”.  Well, today I have to own up to another huge error.

One week ago on September 12th, I opened the daily rant with this paragraph:

“Well, I was overly optimistic yesterday when I said that Mel Tucker would be fired by Halloween.  I thought that Michigan State would wait until after the hearing set for early October and then wait a decent interval before deciding to ditch Tucker as their head football coach.  Not so, Michigan State cut bait yesterday afternoon and is first in line among major football programs in search of a new coach for 2024 – – unless you consider Northwestern a major football program.”

I must have misinterpreted a report I had read to lead me to conclude that Mel Tucker had been fired because that was not the case.  The reason I know I was wrong is that there are multiple reports today in reputable places such as the Washington Post, CBSSports.com, CNN.com and ESPN.com which all say that Michigan State has now notified Mel Tucker that the university intends to terminate his contract for cause based on sexual harassment charges that were made public on September 10th.  Obviously, the university would not be announcing their intent to fire someone if indeed they had already fired him.  Mea culpa!

According to today’s reporting, this notification is provided to Tucker to satisfy the conditions of his existing contract which was to run for 10 years with a guaranteed salary of $95M.  The contract now gives Tucker – and his legal representatives – seven days to present evidence/arguments as to why he should not be fired for cause.  These actions and this notification are separate and distinct from any investigation or charges that may arise from any other investigations into this matter.

According to this morning’s Washington Post, the operative part of Tucker’s contract with the school says in part that Tucker could be fired for cause if he:

“… engages in any conduct which constitutes moral turpitude or which, in the university’s sole judgment, would tend to bring public disrespect, contempt or ridicule upon the university.”

If indeed that clause is in the contract, it would seem to apply in this matter.  The accusation is that Tucker engaged in phone sex with a woman who was hired periodically by the Athletic Department to speak to athletes there about proper and improper behaviors regarding sexual harassment and sexual assault.  As part of that phone sex, Tucker was masturbating as he spoke with the accuser; his first comment in his defense was that the call and the actions involved were “consensual”.  To me, that means he did what the woman said he did.

I am not trained in contract law even in the slightest degree but from a purely personal standpoint, the fact that the head football coach at a major university would masturbate while talking on the phone with a woman who – every once in a while – would be speaking to his players about proper behaviors and curbing their testosterone-driven urges would “tend to bring “contempt and/or ridicule upon the university.”

I suspect that there will be negotiations over the next several days between Tucker’s representatives and Michigan State about any partial payment to Tucker of that nominally guaranteed contract.  Using a linear projection of payments, my estimate is that there is still about $75M left in the deal.  If the school pays out even a dollar on the deal, you can bet there will be layers of non-disclosure agreements involved.

Moving on …  The Tennessee Titans are going to get a new stadium in Nashville; the current estimate for the cost of the new playpen is $2.3B.  Titans’ ownership will put up $200M toward the cost (less than 10%) and the NFL will kick in another $850M for the project out of the league’s developmental fund.  The rest comes from the taxpayers in Nashville and Tennessee.

  • The State issued 20-year bonds with a face value of $453M; over the next 20 years – – assuming that the bonds are not called – – the people of Tennessee will pay out $230M in interest on those bonds.
  • Meanwhile, Nashville issued 30-year bonds with a face value of $705M; over the next 30 years – – assuming the bonds are not called – – the people in Nashville are on the hook for $840M in interest payments on those bonds.

Looking at the amounts put up by parties other than the owners of the Titans, I would have to say that the owners got a sweet deal.

Finally, having mentioned masturbation above, let me close today with these words from Woody Allen:

“Don’t knock masturbation.  It’s sex with someone I love.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports ………



4 thoughts on “A BIG Mistake Here …”

  1. My favorite Woody Allen line about this subject matter is in Love and Death right after he has sex with the Contessa when he reacts to the Contessa’s comment about how good the sex was and he says “I practice a lot when I’m alone.”

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