Report: Tennessee fan backlash scuttles Greg Schiano hire
The backlash from Tennessee fans against the news of Greg Schiano’s impending hiring has been so strong that the deal reportedly will not be going through.
Rocky Top Insider’s Reed Carringer says that Schiano will not be Tennessee’s next coach.
— Reed Carringer (@ReedCarringer) November 26, 2017
WNML’s Jimmy Hyams says a press conference scheduled for Sunday night to announce the hiring was cancelled, though he was unsure if it was postponed or if the deal was called off.
I am told Tennessee was going to have a press conference tonight to announce the hiring of Schiano but canceled it due to protests. Unsure if it will be rescheduled tomorrow or if the deal has fallen through. One prominent booster wasn't happy with Schiano hire.
— Jimmy Hyams (@JimmyHyams) November 26, 2017
Later, national reporters Mark Schlabach and Bruce Feldman confirmed the deal was not going through.
SOURCES: There is some talk going on now between Greg Schiano's reps & #Tennessee about an exit strategy of what has become a very volatile situation. Paperwork was in progress. “They’ve spooked them all,” said a source. "It's a hot mess."
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) November 27, 2017
Reports had said over the past week that there was mutual interest between Schiano and Tennessee. Those reports were not received well by Tennessee fans. Then when multiple reports said on Sunday that the two sides were finalizing a deal to make Schiano head coach, things truly erupted. The fan backlash was serious, with some even protesting the hire outside Neyland Stadium.
Schiano’s personality is not the most ingratiating, but the real issue for the fans seems to be his possible knowledge of Jerry Sandusky’s abuse while at Penn State, something he denied.
Saturday Down South reporter Dan Harralson previously reported on Sunday that Schiano was considering backing out.
Greg Schiano is currently concerned with the climate of the Tennessee fan base and the reaction towards reports of his contract being finalized at Tennessee. The deal may not get finalized.
— Dan Harralson (@danharralson) November 26, 2017
Multiple national reporters even were saying that the backlash was so severe that the two sides needed to walk away.
Tennessee and Schiano need to walk away at this point. The backlash is beyond toxic. You don’t recover from it.
— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) November 26, 2017
At this point I'd be surprised if Schiano/Tennessee actually happens because of all the backlash.
Not sure either side can do this much damage control.
— Ralph D. Russo (@ralphDrussoAP) November 26, 2017
Never seen anything like this Tennessee stuff…Fanbase in revolt. I don’t know how Schiano could take this job at this point.
— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) November 26, 2017
If this hire is not going to happen, then Tennessee will not only need to find a new coach, but the school may have to think twice about letting the same athletic director, John Currie, be in charge of making the choice.