How much will John Currie’s termination cost Tennessee?
Well, it depends.
According to Volquest’s Jesse Simonton, UT would owe Currie $100,000 for the remaining 54 months ($5.4 million total) of his contract if he isn’t dismissed for cause.
However, if the university can prove that the termination was justified with cause, it would avoid paying the former athletic director.
Currie was fired on Friday morning after just eight months on the job, according to WVLT in Knoxville.
Earlier this week, Sports Illustrated’s Bruce Feldman reported boosters were attempting to drive Currie out of Knoxville after multiple reports claimed the Tennessee was “finalizing a deal” with Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano, which resulted in protests by fans through social media and on Tennessee’s campus.
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.
Currie is expected by many to be replaced by former Tennessee head coach Phillip Fulmer, who was also initially considered a candidate for the athletic director position earlier this year.
According to Feldman, Fulmer has “tried to undermine Currie in hopes of becoming the athletic director.”
It’s worth noting that Currie had previously worked in Tennessee’s athletic department and was instrumental in Fulmer’s forced resignation in 2008.