Two Sundays ago, Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano accepted Tennessee's head coaching job. Volunteer athletic director John Currie and Schiano subsequently signed a memorandum of understanding on a contract worth $27 million over six years.
Shortly thereafter, word of Schiano's hiring leaked to reporters, and the princes of piffle ring-leading the carnival in Knoxville deployed heinous conspiracy theories to scuttle the hiring of a coach they saw as below their station.
Tennessee has presented the argument, through its agents in the press, that the memorandum of understanding was void without the signatures of Chancellor Beverly Davenport and Chief Financial Officer David Miller.
Tennessee sachems, however, do not have the final say in this dispute.
As Forbes contributor Darren Heitner noted Tuesday morning:
Furthermore, the final sentence of the MOU reads that "until such time that the Employment Agreement is executed, this MOU shall constitute a binding employment contract between the parties."
Tennessee can say what it wants, but Schiano could find a small army of contract lawyers willing to go to war pro bono in pursuit of a slice of that precious contract money.
The two sides could be, as Heitner said, already negotiating a settlement, which would explain the lack of a Schiano suit. It's also possible Schiano is merely waiting until the end of the season—a mere two and a half weeks away—to file suit.
Either way, it's probable new Vols athletic director Phillip Fulmer will have have to arrange a wire transfer involving two commas to a man that coached his program's football team for 12 hours.