Things aren’t looking good for Tennessee athletic director John Currie.
The Vols were at the center of a botched coaching hire after multiple reports claimed the program was “finalizing a deal” with Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano, which resulted in protests by fans through social media and on UT’s campus.
The focus has now turned to Currie who faces scrutiny from fans, as well as boosters, reportedly attempting to drive him out of Knoxville, according to Sports Illustrated’s Bruce Feldman.
However, UT chancellor Beverly Davenport seems to be in favor of allowing Currie to continue conducting the coaching search, as noted in an official statement released on Monday:
Tennessee fans protested the reported decision to hire Schiano based having previously worked as a defensive assistant at Penn State under former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, who was convicted of child molestation stemming from his tenure with the Nittany Lions in 2012.
According to a report, Schiano allegedly knew of Sandusky’s sexual abuse and turned a blind eye, according to testimony from former Penn State assistant Mike McQueary that was unsealed in 2016 by a Philadelphia court.
Schiano has denied the allegations in the past, having told ESPN’s Adam Schefter: “I never saw any abuse nor had reason to suspect any abuse during my time at Penn State.”
Currie released a statement on Monday defending his decision to target Schiano, claiming the university conducted a thorough background check on the coach.
Ohio State coach Urban Meyer, who has worked with Schiano during the past two seasons, defended his colleague in the wake of the Tennessee incident on Monday.
Schiano is expected to continue coaching the Buckeyes during Saturday’s Big Ten Championship Game against Wisconsin.