By Henry Bowers
Last month, Tennessee Volunteers football team thought that its search for a new head coach had come to an end after meeting with current Ohio State Buckeyes defensive coordinator Greg Schiano.
For the Vols, Schiano seemed to be the perfect fit for its program, bringing many years of coaching experience from college and the NFL to the table. However, less than 24 hours later, Schiano had the job stripped from him, and the job search for a new head coach of Tennessee football continues with seemingly no end in sight.
During the early days of Schiano’s coaching career, he was an assistant to Joe Paterno at Penn State, during the time that fellow assistant coach Jerry Sandusky molested several children. In 2015, Schiano was accused of covering up such a case, as it was said that he and Tom Bradley, another assistant coach at Penn State at that time, witnessed Sandusky “doing something to a boy in the shower.” Both Schiano and Bradley denied the allegations of their knowledge of child abuse by Sandusky.
Keeping all of that in mind, the events that led to Tennessee football backing out its deal with Schiano were unlike anything that has ever been seen. Soon after word spread that Schiano was likely to be the Volunteers next head coach, an uproar from Tennessee fans as well as Tennessee government officials created a backlash due to his connection with Jerry Sandusky. Later, about 100 people gathered on Tennessee’s campus to protest the potential hire, with many of them holding signs with various messages such as “Schia-NO.” At a rock on campus where students often paint various messages, the words “Schiano covered up child rape at Penn State” appeared Sunday.
Schiano will continue to coach at Ohio State for at least the remainder of the season as he turns his focus to the Cotton Bowl where he will square off against USC.