White House press secretary criticizes Tennessee’s interest in Greg Schiano

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Imagine that, someone in the White House taking an interest on social media on a sports-related issue.

Earlier Sunday, reports indicated that Tennessee may be zeroing in on former Rutgers head coach and current Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano as its replacement for the fired Butch Jones.  Fueled in part perhaps by visions of Gruden grandeur, the backlash against that potential hire was immediate, intense and over the Rocky Top.  Especially when Schiano’s past connection to a scandal is factored in.

One Facebook response, by none other than White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, perfectly encapsulates a growing argument against the potential hire — an argument over a hire that has already morphed into protests on UT’s campus.

Some background.

Schiano was a part of the Penn State football program from 1990-95, first as a graduate assistant for one season and then as the defensive backs coach for five years.  In a lawsuit stemming from the Jerry Sandusky scandal, it was alleged that Schiano witnessed Sandusky “doing something to a boy in the shower.” “Greg had come into his office white as a ghost,” testimony from Mike McQueary (the guy in the picture to which Mrs. Huckabee Sanders alluded) in a 2015 deposition read.

In response to those the allegations that arose in 2016, Schiano stated that he “never saw any abuse, nor had reason to suspect any abuse, during my time at Penn State.”

In response to this current and ongoing backlash against a Schiano hiring, it will be very interesting and enlightening and illuminating as to how athletic director John Currie and those actually pulling the strings on this coaching search proceed.  In fact, how they’re proceeding is becoming clear as it looks as if the university is walking away from its pursuit.

Prior to OSU, Schiano’s last job at the collegiate level came as the head coach at Rutgers, where he had a 68-67 record in 11 seasons before moving on to the same job with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  That stint at RU also likely played a role in the outcry.

Miami fires offensive coordinator Josh Gattis after 1 season

josh gattis fired
Reinhold Matay/USA TODAY Sports
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CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Miami fired offensive coordinator Josh Gattis on Friday, ending the former Broyles Award winner’s time with the Hurricanes after only one season.

The school announced the move in a one-sentence press release, with no other detail: “Josh Gattis has been relieved of his duties as offensive coordinator, Miami head football coach Mario Cristobal announced Friday,” read the release, sent from a university spokesman.

The Hurricanes went 5-7 in Gattis’ lone season. He was brought in by Miami only a few weeks after winning the 2021 Broyles Award – given to the nation’s top assistant coach – while serving as Michigan’s offensive coordinator and helping the Wolverines reach the College Football Playoff.

But Miami’s offense, for a number of reasons, failed to meet expectations in 2022. Part of that was injuries; starting quarterback Tyler Van Dyke battled a shoulder injury, and the Hurricanes turned to Jake Garcia – who has since transferred – and Jacurri Brown for much of the season.

Miami scored 100 points in its first two games last fall, overpowering Bethune-Cookman and Southern Miss. The Hurricanes averaged only 18.3 points the rest of the way, and finished the year 5-0 in games where the defense allowed no more than 14 points – but 0-7 when opponents scored more than 14.

Miami was 86th nationally in total offense last season, averaging 367.1 yards per game, and 97th in scoring offense.

Gattis played at Wake Forest and worked at North Carolina, Western Michigan, Vanderbilt, Penn State, Alabama and Michigan before coming to Miami.

Audit: LSU discovered $1M overpayment to Kelly in 2022

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
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BATON ROUGE, La. – LSU accidentally overpaid Tigers football coach Brian Kelly by $1 million during the first year of a 10-year, $100 million contract, but discovered the error and has moved to correct it, the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s office said Wednesday.

Kelly was overpaid $1,001,368 in supplemental payments in 2022 because duplicate payments made both to Kelly’s LLC and to the coach directly.

The double payments began in May and continued until LSU officials detected the errors in November.

“LSU management and the head football coach have enacted an adjusted payment schedule so the amount of overpayment will be recouped by the conclusion of fiscal year 2023,” the Legislative Auditor’s report stated.

Kelly, who previously coached at Notre Dame for 12 seasons, was hired by LSU after the 2021 season, when the Tigers went 6-7 for its first losing season since 1999.

LSU exceeded expectations in Kelly’s first season in Baton Rouge, winning the SEC West Division and finishing 10-4 after a 63-7 victory over Purdue in the Citrus Bowl.