In Knoxville, November 26, 2017 will forever be known as “Schiano Sunday.”
After reports surfaced that Tennessee was about to hire Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano as its head football coach, Vols fans took to social media to express their displeasure. They called, texted and emailed Tennessee officials for hours. They protested in front of the UT football complex.
This was something rarely seen in collegiate athletics. Fans were squashing a hire before it was made.
Eventually, the University of Tennessee pulled the job offer. Within a week, UT athletics director John Currie was suspended (and later fired). Former Tennessee football coach Phillip Fulmer was installed in his place. A few months later, UT Chancellor Dr. Beverly Davenport, who had hired Currie, was out as well.
Nationally, Schiano was portrayed by many media members as a wronged man, kept from a promotion of which he was most deserving by an angry mob.
At Ohio State, head coach Urban Meyer continued to support his defensive coordinator.
“He’s an elite person, an elite father, an elite husband, an elite football coach,” Meyer said. “I stand by my coach.”
So when Meyer was placed on administrative leave on August 1 following a report from college football writer Brett McMurphy that Meyer seemingly lied about knowing of domestic abuse allegations against a member of his coaching staff three years ago, the obvious choice to serve as the interim coach was Schiano.
After all, Meyer had established Schiano not only as his DC, but as his associate head coach. This is a move that basically is telling the Buckeye Nation that Schiano was next in charge. Schiano had been on the staff a couple of years, knew the players well, and was knowledgeable about the Big Ten.
In fact, after Schiano wasn’t hired by Tennessee, Ohio State athletics director Gene Smith had this to say about him.
“I’m disappointed that he doesn’t have this opportunity to leave, because I think he has the highest of integrity and character,” Smith told Landof10.com. “For us, he’s done nothing but demonstrate great character and great integrity working with our players, highest level of professionalism. And obviously he’s been a head coach before. I really think he’s grown even more in our culture and how Urban [Meyer] and we at the university run things. I just think he deserves to have an opportunity to be in that seat, so I was highly disappointed.”
But even with that glowing recommendation from eight months ago, Smith picked offensive coordinator Ryan Day to be Ohio State’s interim head coach. Day has never been a head coach before while Schiano spent eleven years as the head coach at Rutgers and two years as the head coach of the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
So if Ohio State thinks so highly of Greg Schiano, why wouldn’t they give him the job in Columbus that they feel he was denied unjustly in Knoxville?
© 2016, gridironnow.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.