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.
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.
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
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
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.