Tennessee football’s pursuit of Greg Schiano as Volunteers head coach highlights the incompetence of Jimmy Haslam and Athletic Director John Currie.
Tennessee football is suffering. And it’s in the hands of an athletic director who failed miserably at Kansas State along with a booster who has failed miserably at, well, everything.
We’ll get to John Currie failing at Kansas State. But let’s start with the booster, a prominent one in the program.
I’ve said this before, but I want to make it clear. Jimmy Haslam III loses at everything he does. He’s a lousy businessman, a lousy sports owner and a lousy booster. We wrote a piece a month ago about the failed CEO of Pilot J Flying Truck Stop who also incompetently owns the Cleveland Browns.
As we mentioned in that post, the guy only has this company because of what he inherited from his father. And he ran it into the ground, at one point being billions of dollars in debt in 2013 while it was also running a diesel fuel rebate scam.
He’s a failed businessman in every way. On top of that, he’s a failed owner. We don’t have to explain too much about how pathetic the Browns are.
And again, he’s a top booster for the Vols. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that Tennessee would botch anything with Haslam behind the scenes. And that’s where Currie comes in.
According to a report from Jimmy Hyams last March, Haslam was instrumental in the Vols hiring Currie as their new athletic director. He was the search committee that pushed for him.
Before that report dropped, we had a post citing multiple reasons Currie was an awful hire for the program. The guy ran off Frank Martin, a very successful basketball coach, from the Kansas State Wildcats. Martin is now fresh off a Final Four appearance with the South Carolina Gamecocks.
After Hyams’s report came out, we wrote another post that Currie’s hire shows utter incompetence on the part of the UT administration.
So with incompetence squared, again, it’s no surprise that Tennessee football would inevitably botch a coaching search in the worst way. And that’s exactly what happened on Sunday with Greg Schiano.
By now you all know the story. Dan Wolken broke the news that Schiano and the Vols were finalizing a deal early in the afternoon.
Then Vol Twitter rightly blew up, horrified that the school would consider a coach who was barely .500 at Rutgers and accused in a deposition of knowing about Jerry Sandusky’s actions at Penn State back in the 1990s.
Vol Twitter included fans, former players, and even state lawmakers. The backlash reportedly led to a backtrack from the administration’s decision, according to Jimmy Hyams and Bruce Feldman.
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
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
To make a horrific decision and then backtrack due to public pressure is the epitome of incompetence. And don’t kid yourself. There’s no reason to believe that Currie and Haslam weren’t both involved in reaching out to Schiano.
Currie can’t avoid that label since he’s the athletic director. Haslam’s history provides too much smoke for there not to be fire when it comes to his involvement.
Remember this SI Report from Peter King in 2014? Schiano was coming off a disastrous stint with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but Haslam wanted to hire him to the Cleveland Browns anyway and clashed with the Browns’ CEO and General Manager, eventually firing both.
Given the fact that Haslam liked Schiano and Currie was his handpicked choice for A.D., it’s pretty clear he would be involved in trying to make Schiano a Vol.
Reporters on Twitter were pretty much in agreement with this.
Why does John Currie like Greg Schiano? Because Jimmy Haslam does…article from 2014…all you need to know…https://t.co/44SMuAGWYj
— Big Joe (@BIGJOEONTHEGO) November 26, 2017
If Tennessee hires Greg Schiano is will be because of Haslam…
— Austin Stanley (@AustinStanley81) November 26, 2017
So yes, Tennessee football fans can blame both Currie and Haslam for the complete disaster that took place on Sunday. Don’t forget that, on top of everything else, SCHIANO MADE ENEMIES WITH PEYTON MANNING!!!
Just look at this 2013 report on Manning being furious with Schiano when Schiano was coaching the Bucs. Manning reportedly cursed him out.
Why would anybody connected to Tennessee football want to hire a head coach who clashed with the school’s greatest ambassador? Again, this wreaks of incompetence in every way.
Whatever happens going forward is anybody’s guess. But after Sunday, it’s clear that the loudest, most obnoxious voices on Vol Twitter are more competent at running the Tennessee football program than its athletic director and one of its most prominent boosters. And that’s just sad.