No Deal: University of Tennessee nixes Schiano deal
NASHVILLE, Tenn.--According to multiple reports, the deal to make Greg Schiano head coach of the University of Tennessee football program is off.
ESPN's Chris Low reports multiple sources have told him the school pulled out of the deal after backlash to news a deal was in place. Low added the two parties had not finalized a contract but there was a memorandum of understanding.
The decision extends a period of frenzied activity by the fan base and the school. Following initial reports a deal was being finalized on Sunday, many fans and even politicians like Diane Black voiced their displeasure at the potential hiring. Schiano's time at Penn State University as a defensive backs coach while under then defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was also voiced by critics of the deal, questioning what Schiano may or may have not known about Sandusky's child sex abuses while at the school.
The allegations stem from a 2016 deposition by Mike McQueary who stated Schiano and assistant coach Tom Bradley new of Sandusky's acts. However, Schiano denied McQueary's shortly after the deposition was unsealed, telling ESPN's Adam Schefter “I never saw any abuse, nor had reason to suspect any abuse, during my time at Penn State.”
Schiano was previously a head coach at Rutgers, coaching for 11 seasons before moving to the NFL where he coached the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for two seasons before returning to the college ranks.
During his tenure at Rutgers and Tampa Bay, Schiano developed a reputation as a strict coach focused on discipline. Players often referred to his 'toes on the line' mantra, demanding players have their toes on the yardline during stretching and warmups. His approach helped turn the Rutgers program into a yearly Bowl contender, but it didn't translate at the NFL level where he was fired after two seasons with the Bucs, finishing with an 11-21 record.