Tennessee Backs Out of Deal To Name Greg Schiano As Head Coach, Per Reports

By Dan Hope on November 26, 2017 at 8:44 pm
Greg Schiano

Despite a signed Memorandum of Understanding, Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano will not be leaving Columbus to take over as head coach of the Tennessee Volunteers.

According to a report from Yahoo Sports' Pete Thamel, Tennessee athletic director John Currie signed the MOU with Schiano and his representatives on Sunday in Columbus, putting him in place to become the next head football coach at Tennessee, until Tennessee officials called Schiano’s representatives on Sunday night to inform them the university was backing out of the agreement.

According to a report from FootballScoop.com, Schiano's side is "seeking compensation in connection" with Tennessee's decision to back out of the agreement.

Following an initial report from USA TODAY’s Dan Wolken on Sunday afternoon that the university was finalizing a deal to make Schiano its next head coach, Tennessee students and other members of the community protested the reportedly impending hire, 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 after court records were unsealed in July 2016.

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

Schiano joined Urban Meyer's Ohio State staff prior to the 2016 season and is responsible for coaching safeties in addition to his coordinator duties. He was previously the head coach at Rutgers from 2001-11, compiling a 68-67 record there. He was also the head coach of the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2012-13.

Meyer praised Schiano when asked for his thoughts on Schiano as a person during Sunday's Big Ten Championship Game coaches' teleconference.

"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."

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.

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