Report: Gruden to get Browns ownership stake in offer to coach Vols


Oh boy.

This may be the most outlandish Jon Gruden coaching rumor yet.

WREG-TV in Memphis, Tenn. reported Tuesday night that the ESPN NFL analyst has an offer on the table to become the next head coach of the University of Tennessee with an interesting twist. According to the report, Gruden would be getting an ownership stake in the Cleveland Browns as part of the deal and a decision could be made as early as Wednesday.

New Browns owner Jimmy Haslam attended Tennessee and is a booster of the program. His father, Jim, played on the offensive line for the Volunteers in the early 1950s, including the 1951 National Championship team.  The Browns owner also is a major Tennessee booster.

The report does bring up a potential road block to this ever coming to fruition. Gruden may still be owed money from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from his time as head coach that ended with his firing in 2008. Apparently the league is looking into the conflict of owning a part of one team while potentially still getting paid from another franchise.

Here’s another possible hiccup. According to John Infante, who worked as a NCAA compliance officer at Colorado State University and ran the Bylaw Blog for the NCAA website, NCAA rules would prohibit this transaction unless the ownership stake was first gifted to the University of Tennessee. He says there is no rule prohibiting coaches being involved with pro teams but rather the issue has to do with outside compensation.

This deal seems a little too ridiculous to actually come together in the end. But with SEC football, there seems to be no limit to the distance schools will go to try and put the best possible team on the field. So maybe it’s not completely out of the question after all.

46 responses to “Report: Gruden to get Browns ownership stake in offer to coach Vols

  1. As someone with no interest in either the Volunteers, The Browns, or John Gruden, I hope this happens just because of how strange it is.

  2. I would hope Jimmy would be more worried about getting a competent coach to run the football team he OWNS than a football team he supports.

  3. Remind me to call my mom and tell her she let me down. She had it all wrong… She said if I wanted to make the big bucks, I needed to be good academically and go to college. I just needed to play football.
    I hate mom…


  4. I don’t know. I just can’t really see Gruden coaching college players. He’s not exactly a player-friendly coach and wouldn’t entice recruits to come play for him.

    Besides I don’t see why he’d go down to college if he’s been very successful in the NFL.

  5. Did anyone in Tennessee ever actually see Gruden coach or know the history of what he did to the Buccaneers? He took over a stacked Tony Dungy / Monte Kiffin lead team, gave it a worse offense than it had before and then road that defense to the Super Bowl in which the defense outscored the Raiders offense. Following the Super Bowl Gruden wanted to prove to everyone that HE could win the Super Bowl without Dungy’s players which is why he did stupid stuff like let Warren Sapp walk and cut John Lynch. He chased off the GM of the team that built it from the ground up so he could bring in his hand picked GM. Since that pesky non-idiot GM was no longer there to stop him he used up the freed cap space to sign 35-year old offense linemen and running backs. In the end Tampa hasn’t won a playoff game since that Super Bowl, which was won with Tony Dungy’s team and Monte Kiffin’s defense. If I was in Tennessee I’d hope that Gruden stayed far away, which I’m guessing he will do since it’s always about Gruden. He loves letting his name getting attached to stuff since he has to be the star, but at the end of the day you’d be better off taking any random qualified candidate.

  6. Guys, Jimmy’s pulling the strings to get Gruden to Knoxville and he’s also working to get Saban to Cleveland.
    In the end, both coaches get what they want (Saban, complete control in the NFL and another chance at the biggest challange; Gruden, complete control of a storied SEC program, essentially what Saban already has) and both will be compensated quite well

  7. lmao why would he want to own a small piece of the turds??? lmao the vols are a joke just like the browns!!! he would never take it for a lot of reasons and not to mention he would have to offload the browns stake to coach in the nfl again which I know he would want to do after a couple years in the lower levels.

    no chance he would ever go near coaching the browns that would destroy his career!!

  8. Everyone talks about how Gruden won a Super Bowl with Dungy’s team, but seems to forget that the team he was playing was a team he built and coached to Super Bowl level.

    Without Gruden Gannon, and that team, never make it to the big game. Even the most die hard Raider fans I know (living in the Bay Area) admit to that.

    Gruden might not be the best GM but in the right situation he can definitely be a great coach.

  9. They left out a third part of this scenario. Gruden can only coach the Vols and own part of the Browns if he attends one half of all Raven games on every other Sunday and help Cam Cameron with the play calling, but only from the upstairs booth, while wearing a Pittsburgh Steeler jersey.

  10. He was a GA at UT. Meet his wife there also, not sure this has legs, but sounds good. Not UT fan.

  11. @onebucplace

    They were in salary cap hell which led to the purging of veterans. This is the reason Parcells passed on the job. You as a Buc fan should know that.

  12. C’mon Browns. At some point you have to stop being a punch line in PFT news stories.


  13. Coach the Vols’s on saturday.

    Coach the Browns on Sunday.

    Keep his current gig on Monday Night.

    What does he do the rest of the week, though?

  14. Like free agents, all coaches must first be considered by the Eagles before other teams can speak to them. Sorry, but it’s the rule.

  15. How can Tampa still owe him money? That was almost 5 years ago? Did they sign him to a 10 year contract?

  16. webehighrollin says: Nov 28, 2012 1:44 AM

    Sooo, let me get this straight. The owner of the Browns, wants Jon Gruden to coach a team..other than the Browns?



    If it gets Chucky out of the broadcast booth, I’m all for it. So tired of hearing how every guy on the field is the best ever at whatever.

  17. Only in Cleveland would a REGIME CHANGE involve a college team in Tennessee! And Curtis Crabtree left out the most intriguing part, Rex Ryan has also been retained to find three footed women for the cheerleading squad!

  18. people forget how mediocre gruden was/is , his oakland team got blown out in that sb , and when he finally won one it was with the tony dunge had put together and he stepped in and took credit. that being said he seems like a perfect fit for dallas

  19. He can get paid, plus get ownership of a pro team as a gift from a booster, but if a poor kid takes shoes or sells something that the school gave him, the kid gets suspended? Talk about a double standard!

  20. UT fans think that by virtue of them being born within the borders of the state of Tennessee, having attended Tennessee, or having chosen to be a fan of Tennnesee, they are, by definition, higher life forms than all other humans.

    However, the truth is that UT has been completely, totally irrelevant for more than 10 years. Stories like this show how desparate they are to being relevant again. But it’s going to be 5 years at the absolute minimum before they are even the most relevant team in their state. The longer Franklin stays at Vandy, the further into the future that return to relevance is pushed.

  21. choicess says:Nov 28, 2012 2:59 AM

    Guys, Jimmy’s pulling the strings to get Gruden to Knoxville and he’s also working to get Saban to Cleveland.
    In the end, both coaches get what they want (Saban, complete control in the NFL and another chance at the biggest challange; Gruden, complete control of a storied SEC program, essentially what Saban already has) and both will be compensated quite well

    No, sorry. I don’t buy that. If saban were to get full control, Joe Banner would have no role with the Browns, and he’s already there.

  22. Onebucolace has to be one of the most uninformed Buc fans of all time. Kiffen was the one who let Sapp walk because of having Booger Mac as his replacement….. Monte also asked Lynch to take a backup role, which Lynch refused and left for Denver.

    There were also several players that Gruden brought in after Dungy left, therefore it WAS NOT Dungy’s team that won the Super Bowl….. If you compare Dungy’s final roster and Jon’s first roster, you might see that, as opposed to parroting the local papers that get almost anything team related WRONG!!

    Gruden did suck at personnel evaluation and couldn’t draft worth a crap, but my god man…… Learn the facts about the team before you attempt to share on a blog!

  23. Jonny G doesn’t want to coach college FB, period! He will either get an NFL gig or stayed glued to that lucrative MNF chair….

  24. The Browns? I’ll pay you NOT to give me a stake of the Browns.

    Seriously though, this would effectively end his NFL Coaching Career (outside of Cleveland). You obviously can’t have a stake of one team and coach another unless his intention is to eventually coach the Browns. Even then, if you are part owner of a Team there may be a big conflict of interest to also coaching them… hard to fire a part owner.

    There are some potentially pretty attractive jobs out there. Philly, Jets (maybe), Oregon (Nike $$$) if Kelly leaves, or even USC (but I don’t think Lane gets canned). The Vols job could be a good one, but the SEC is jammed right now and would be an uphill battle from Day 1.

    Gruden to Philly seems like the best fit, imo. Not sure any coach can win in Cleveland.

  25. A college coach owning a piece of an NFL team sounds like a huge conflict of interest.

    If I was a player I would avoid Tenn if this is the case. How can I feel good about my coach marketing me to NFL teams if he owns part of one of them.

    Kind of like how the Fins had an advantage with drafting Tannehill by having Sherman on the payroll.

  26. Go ahead and flame me, but I just don’t understand the big interest in John Gruden as a coach. Yes, he took a ready built team over the hump to win the Superbowl, but where has he won with something he started fron the bottom?

  27. To all of you that say that Gruden will only take an NFL gig, you really have no idea what you are talking about. Gruden has been coaching high school football in Tampa for the past couple of years. He is not coaching anymore, but that was an non NFL gig. Also, Bucngator is correct. Gruden took Dungy’s/Kiffin’s defense, and added an offense that could actually put up more than 13 points a game. He added a few new pieces to the puzzle, and viola! Super Bowl win! I dont think Gruden will be a good fit in the SEC though. He is not a defensive minded coach.

  28. thekingdave:

    If the Bucs where in salary cap hell then how in the hell did they afford to give Charlie Gardner $5-million (remember he was coming off an injury and never ended up playing but the contract was guaranteed). How did he afford to offer $4-million dollar contracts to washed up 35-year old offensive linemen? He afforded those by cutting Lynch and letting Sapp go. Lynch went on to I believe 4 more pro-bowls while Sapp even had 10 sack season playing out of position in Oakland. Gruden was an awful coach for the Bucs — they were simply ready to win that year. If Spurrier had been hired as long as he kept Kiffin running that defense he would have won a Super Bowl. Gruden turned what should have been a dynasty into a one and done. I would never want that guy to touch my team, he’s supposed to be an offense coach yet the Bucs were near the bottom of the NFL in offense most of the years he lead them, the defense always carried the team and Gruden got rid of anyone that stole his limelight (goodbye Keyshawn). I hate Gruden for what he did to the team, he’s a true parasite.

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