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Tennessee backs out of agreement with Greg Schiano after fan backlash

Greg Schiano was “finalizing” details to become Tennessee’s next head coach as late as Sunday afternoon but now won’t end up in Knoxville, according to multiple reports. This comes after an unprecedented backlash after reports that the two parties had advanced discussions about the job.

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Schiano, who is still employed as Ohio State’s defensive coordinator, was the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for two years. Before that, he was the head coach at Rutgers from 2001 to 2011. Schiano’s tenure in Tampa Bay cratered, with one former Schiano player telling NFL.com “It’s like being in Cuba.” His stint at Ohio State had achieved the desired results so far, with Urban Meyer saying the defensive coordinator had received two college head coaching jobs in the offseason.

The backlash by Tennessee fans has been volatile — mostly for off-field reasons

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A large issue for fans has been Schiano’s involvement in the Jerry Sandusky scandal at Penn State. Schiano is alleged to have known about Sandusky’s child sex abuse, which he denies.

The backlash online was swift. From Tennessee politicians:

To area establishments:

To many other people:

As was the backlash in real life. Fans even protested on campus:

This was something unparalleled in modern coaching searches. After all this attention, Schiano now goes back to his position as Ohio State’s defensive coordinator.

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