Midday Sunday, it seemed like it was basically a done deal that Schiano, the current defensive coordinator at Ohio State, would be taking the head coach position at Tennessee.
However, things have deteriorated.
Fans protested the call, former Volunteer stars protested the call, and according to this tweet, it sounds like at least one booster wasn’t supporting the hire.
I am told Tennessee was going to have a press conference tonight to announce the hiring of Schiano but canceled it due to protests. Unsure if it will be rescheduled tomorrow or if the deal has fallen through. One prominent booster wasn't happy with Schiano hire.— Jimmy Hyams (@JimmyHyams) November 26, 2017
As of late Sunday evening, it was being reported that a possible exit strategy was being created for Schiano, according to Bruce Feldman.
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
Not too long after Feldman’s tweet, another report surfaced that the deal was off.
The Greg Schiano to Tennessee deal is dead. Following a public outcry among fans and state politicians, Tennessee backed out of a memorandum of understanding with Schiano that had been signed earlier in the day by both parties.— Chris Low (@ClowESPN) November 27, 2017
According to the Washington Post, one reason for the uproar stems from Schiano’s time as a defensive coach at Penn State from 1991-95, where he worked under then-defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, and was named in documents as allegedly having known about Jerry Sandusky’s child abuse.
Schiano was a head coach of the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, as well as the Rutgers Scarlet Knights before making his way to Urban Meyer’s staff in 2016.
The Tennessee head coaching job opened up after the Volunteers fired Butch Jones on Nov. 12 after the Vols started the season 4-6 (with all six of those losses happening to SEC opponents). Jones went 34-27 in a little more than four years at the helm. Prior to Jones, Derek Dooley lasted nearly three years in the same role before being fired.