Agent says Gruden has made “clear” his commitment to ESPN

AP

Amid reports that former Raiders and Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden flirted with but ultimately rejected overtures from the University of Tennessee, Gruden’s agent says that none of it was or is true.

And the agent says that he previously hasn’t said anything because, well, none of it is true.

“I haven’t said anything [about the ongoing rumors] because there’s been nothing to say,” Bob LaMonte told GoVolsExtra.com.  “This, to me, is just a fantasy world. . . . Jon has made it clear he’s committed to ESPN.”

LaMonte explains that he spoke to Tennessee A.D. Dave Hart for the first time on Friday.

“He just said there had been a lot of rumors and he just wanted to clear the air,” LaMonte said.  “I said, ‘Thank you for the call. I appreciate it.’  He said thank you and that was it.”

Later in the article, however, LaMonte suggests that Hart wasn’t calling to simply squelch rumors, but to fuel them.

“He said, ‘I just wanted to do due diligence,’” LaMonte said.  “I said, ‘Thank you but Jon has made it clear he’s committed to ESPN.’  He thanked me and said goodbye.”

Here’s the thing.  Jon hasn’t made it clear he remains committed to ESPN.  On multiple occasions, he has made it clear he intends to coach again.  And with rampant rumors that this year will be the year he abandons the broadcast booth, Gruden has not declared generally and unequivocally that he’s not in play for coaching jobs.

Until he says that, it’s fair to assume that he is in play for coaching jobs.