To say that the University of Tennessee is a dumpster fire is perhaps the understatement of the year. What an unmitigated disaster Rock Top has become.
Let’s start with the 2017 football season.
The Volunteers, as they have the past few years under former head coach Butch Jones, failed under the high expectations set before this season. This was the year we will get over the hump, they thought.
Not only did the Volunteers not get over the hump, they didn’t even win a damn conference game! Hell, they even got their asses kicked to close the season by Vanderbilt — AT HOME!!!
So after the Jones experiment failed, Tennessee had to bring in someone that it felt could get the program to return to its glory years in the late 90s. Jon Gruden was inexplicably bandied about as a candidate. Dude has not coached a college game, nor is he leaving Monday Night football.
So who did the university zero in on as a replacement for Jones? Former Rutgers head coach and current Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano.
And this is where Part 2 comes into play.
On paper, Schiano is the type of coach the Volunteer faithful sorely needed. A disciplinarian who has a track record of rebuilding programs and keeping them competitive for sustained periods.
Keep in mind Schiano turned around Rutgers, perhaps the hardest football program to fix. From 2001 to 2011, Schiano compiled a 68-67 record. After a rough first four seasons, Schiano led Rutgers to its first bowl appearance in 2005, followed by eight more. At RUTGERS.
Hell, it could be argued that Schiano helped make Rutgers football attractive to the Big Ten during the Big East years. And lo and behold, guess where Rutgers is now? The Big Ten.
I know one thing, the job Schiano did at Rutgers landed him the job in the NFL as a head coach. Say what you want about his failure as Tampa Bay’s head coach, the man’s success in college football could not be ignored.
So one would think Schiano was a great hire for Tennessee, right? Not to some fans in Rocky Top.
Some fans, led by social media loudmouth/rabble-rouser/dumbass Clay Travis, led an uprising following the news of the impending Schiano hire. While a few cited Schiano’s 68-67 record at Rutgers (which, given what I wrote earlier, speaks to the ignorance of these fans), most used what was alleged to have happened during the Jerry Sandusky years at Penn State — key word being “alleged”.
In a 2015 deposition, the former Penn State assistant coach Mike McQueary (who changed stories more than Michael Jackson changed noses) testified that another Penn State assistant coach, Tom Bradley, had told him that Schiano had talked to him about seeing Sandusky abusing a boy sometime in the early 1990s. Both Schiano and Bradley, most recently an assistant at U.C.L.A, have denied the allegation and said they had no knowledge of the abuse.
On Monday, Anthony Lubrano, a trustee at Penn State since 2012, said in a statement that Schiano “had nothing to do with the Sandusky scandal.” Here’s more what Lubrano had to say in The New York Times:
“Any stories about his involvement are completely uncorroborated and without basis in fact,” Lubrano said. “To impugn Mr. Schiano’s character based on hearsay alone is irresponsible and unfair.”
Yet you have Travis and all those blockheads from the Twitter lynch mob railing and protesting on Tennessee’s campus based on “he said-he said-he said” quotes, not EVIDENCE. Not only did they ruin Schiano’s chances of coaching at Tennessee, he may never get another head coaching job again.
And the athletic director, John Currie, could have prevented this uprising from happening if he had a spine. After all, he and his department — as well as those at Rutgers, Tampa Bay, and Ohio State — did their due diligence in the vetting process.
If I were Schiano, I’d sue the hell out of McQuery. And after draining McQuery for whatever he has left, I’d sue the hell out of Travis and make sure he blogs out of his mother’s basement.
The fact of the matter is simple: who the hell would want to coach at that school? Hell, I’m shocked that Currie STILL has a job as athletic director after how he bungled the hiring process.
What a glorified shit-show in Rocky Top…