Earlier today, former Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano seemed to be on track to become the next coach at the University of Tennessee. Now? Not.
According to Chris Low of ESPN, Tennessee has backed out of a memorandum of understanding with Schiano, due to campus protests and other opposition to the hiring of Schiano. A press conference naming him the new coach had been scheduled for Sunday night.
Much of the opposition (which came from places like the White House Press Secretary) traces to a contention by former Penn State assistant coach Mike McQueary that Schiano was aware of sexual abuse committed by Jerry Sandusky. Schiano denied any such claims in 2016.
Schiano, after serving as head coach at Rutgers, was hired to coach the Buccaneers in 2012. The Bucs fired him during the 2013 season. He resurfaced as a key assistant at Ohio State.
Earlier on Sunday, Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer confirmed that Schiano had been talking to Tennessee. In July, Meyer disclosed that Schiano had declined a pair of “significant” coaching opportunities in the last hiring cycle.
The question now becomes whether other colleges will stop short of hiring Schiano for fear of Sandusky-related backlash. Absent tangible and persuasive proof of specific responsibility for or knowledge of an abuse case that plenty of people failed to take seriously, it seems unfair for Schiano to be summarily shunned.