On Tuesday night, WREG-TV in Memphis published a report saying that Tennessee booster Jim Haslam offered Jon Gruden an ownership stake in the Cleveland Browns as a source of compensation for him to coach the Vols.
We don’t pass along the report for its news value (there are many questionable attributions to the report), but for its comedic aspects.
First, let’s take a look at what makes it so funny, which starts with Tennessee’s obvious desperation.
The Vols have been chasing after Gruden since 2009. Gruden, who was the youngest head coach to win a Super Bowl (accomplished at age 39 with the Buccaneers in the 2002 season), was fired by Tampa Bay following the 2008 season. The University of Tennessee fired Phillip Fulmer the same year. There was no shortage of rumors that the Vols were pursuing Gruden to fill the job.
Tennessee ended up hiring Lane Kiffin, who bolted for USC after a year. They replaced him with Derek Dooley, who appeared overmatched in three seasons as the Vols’ head coach.