Update: Tennessee backed out of its deal to hire Schiano on Sunday night, hours after signing a contract with the coach.
Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano might not be leaving for Tennessee after all.
A report from USA TODAY's Dan Wolken on Sunday afternoon indicated that the university was working on finalizing a deal with Greg Schiano to become its next head coach, and hoped to announce the hire on Sunday.
Yahoo Sports' Pete Thamel reported that Tennessee athletic director John Currie traveled to Columbus on Sunday afternoon with the intention of finalizing the deal and making a formal announcement Sunday night.
That announcement has not been made, however, amid backlash from Tennessee students, former players, the university's board of trustees and even state representatives about the coach's reported hire.
VolQuest.com reported Sunday night that Schiano will not be Tennessee's next head coach.
Greg Schiano will not be the Vols' next head coach.
According to VolQuest.com sources, Tennessee's talks with the Ohio State defensive coordinator broke down on Sunday evening following unprecedented fan backlash on social media and UT's campus.
Schiano appeared set to replace Butch Jones, as multiple outlets, including VolQuest.com, reported negotiations were taking place Sunday. Tennessee's first-year athletics director John Currie flew up to Columbus, Ohio in hopes of bringing Schiano, 51, back to Knoxville for an announcement this evening.
However, when Schiano's potential hiring was leaked, the news was met with a thunderous social media storm and protests on campus due to allegations against Schiano in the Jerry Sandusky scandal at Penn State.
After a wild day, Tennessee's coaching search will now move forward with greater uncertainty. At some point in the near future, Currie is expected to address the media to discuss today's unfoldings, per sources.
Jimmy Hyams of Sports Radio WMNL in Knoxville reported that Tennessee had planned a press conference for Sunday night to announce the hiring of Schiano, but canceled it due to the backlash.
I am told Tennessee was going to have a press conference tonight to announce the hiring of Schiano but canceled it due to protests. Unsure if it will be rescheduled tomorrow or if the deal has fallen through. One prominent booster wasn't happy with Schiano hire.— Jimmy Hyams (@JimmyHyams) November 26, 2017
Fox Sports' Bruce Feldman reported that a deal was in the works but that the two sides are now working on an "exit strategy."
SOURCES: There is some talk going on now between Greg Schiano's reps & #Tennessee about an exit strategy of what has become a very volatile situation. Paperwork was in progress. Theyve spooked them all, said a source. "It's a hot mess."— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) November 27, 2017
The negative reaction to Schiano's reportedly impending hire has come in part because of a 2015 deposition by former Penn State assistant coach Mike McQueary that Schiano witnessed a sexual assault by Jerry Sandusky during his time at Penn State, which Schiano denied.
Goodness, check out The Rock on Tennessees campus pic.twitter.com/R9EwVGVGkh— SEC Mike (@MichaelWBratton) November 26, 2017
Former member of UT board of trustees unhappy with Schiano hiring: "In the current environment you couldn't have done anything worse than perceived to have known about Jerry Sandusky (and said nothing). You (UT) can't take that chance. I'm speechless. Unbelievable. "— Jimmy Hyams (@JimmyHyams) November 26, 2017
Numerous members of the Tennessee House of Representatives, also weighed in to condemn the potential hiring.
We took an oath to do nothing which shall appear to me injurious to the people of Tennessee. If true, we will stand against the selection of Greg Schiano as Coach at UT.— Rep. Kevin Brooks (@RepKBrooks) November 26, 2017
Our Tennessee standards mean something, and a Greg Schiano hire would be anathema to all that our University and our community stand for. I sincerely hope that these rumors are not true, because even serious consideration would be unacceptable.— Eddie Smith (@RepEddieSmith) November 26, 2017
Schiano has been Ohio State's defensive coordinator and safeties coach prior to the 2016 season. He was previously the head coach at Rutgers from 2001-11, compiling a 68-67 record there over 11 seasons. He was also the head coach of the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2012-13.
Tennessee is looking to replace Butch Jones, who was fired as the Volunteers' coach on Nov. 12. The Volunteers' search process also "heavily involved" Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen, according to Wolken, but Mullen – a former Meyer assistant – was named Sunday as the new head coach at Florida.
Meyer did not confirm Schiano's reported departure when asked about it on Sunday afternoon during the Big Ten Championship Game coaches' teleconference.
"I know he was contacted, and that's all I know at this point," Meyer said.
Meyer did, however, praise Schiano when asked for his thoughts on Schiano as a person.
"Greg's been a close friend for 20-plus years," Meyer said. "He's an elite person, elite father and elite husband, and that carries over into the way he handles his players. Excellent coach, excellent person."