The heat is very much on Tennessee athletic director John Currie in the wake of the latest debacle regarding the vacant football coaching job being offered to Greg Schiano before the university seemingly bowed to public pressure in pulling the cord. On Monday morning, Currie released the following the statement and, in short, it has not been well received by anyone.
From there, many pundits have weighed in, including ESPN’s Paul Finebaum speaking with Bob Ley on Outside The Lines, and the always entertaining analyst took to calling the move from Currie “spineless.”
“I don’t think that would upset many people right now. To me, you have to blame him. He’s the new athletic director. He came in late Winter. He did a rather poor job of handling the Butch Jones situation. I think he waited too long to fire him. And then he just got played by a number of people in the coaching search. To me, if you decide on Greg Schiano, which he obviously did…. If you make an agreement with him, which they did… then bring him back and introduce him. And be willing to take a little flack. Explain the flack. And I think that’s what happened. Social media yesterday ran this coach off. I just don’t understand. I realize it’s 2017 but, when an athletic director is paying too much attention to his phone and what his mentions are saying and not doing what he has set out to do, then there’s a serious, serious problem. I think it was a spineless act. I think it was totally hypocritical to back out and, in the process, they’ve done a lot of damage to what, by all accounts, is a good man’s reputation.”
It is quite clear what Finebaum thinks about this maneuver and he certainly isn’t alone. In fact, there is some growing sentiment that Currie himself could be in trouble.
Tennessee is a mess right now, but the program can look toward internal factors for blame.