Greg Schiano's Reported Deal To Become Tennessee's Head Coach Could Be Off Amid Backlash, Per Reports

By Dan Hope on November 26, 2017 at 7:34 pm
Greg Schiano

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. 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 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, 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.

Fox Sports' Bruce Feldman reported that a deal was in the works but that the two sides are now working on an "exit strategy."

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.

Numerous members of the Tennessee House of Representatives, also weighed in to condemn the potential hiring.

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."

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