Greg Schiano Had $27.7M Contract with Tennessee Before Social Media Protest

Frederick Owens
December 14, 2017

"That document was never signed by The University of Tennessee's Chief Financial Officer, whose signature would have been required to make it legally binding on the University", said Tennessee athletic department spokesman Tom Satkowiak.

After much confusion in the state of Tennessee over Greg Schiano's contract status, it appears the Volunteers have dodged a very expensive bullet. Pruitt agreed to a six-year deal paying him $3.8 million annually plus other benefits.

Currie was later placed on leave with pay and Phillip Fulmer was named athletic director.

Tennessee was seeking a coach to replace Butch Jones, who was sacked November 12 after going 34-27 in five seasons.

The University of Tennessee says a memorandum of understanding between the school and Greg Schiano, who was almost hired as the Vols' head football coach, lacked signatures necessary to make it legally binding. That includes $275,000 base pay and supplemental pay increasing from $4.125 million to $4.325 million.

The decision to hire Schiano-and the two sides could very well soon be arguing in court if it indeed was legally a "hiring" before it fell apart-was a disaster nearly immediately.


The 51-year-old Schiano also coached for 11 seasons at Rutgers and two years with the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers. About 100 people participated in a protest on campus.

According to a 2016 Washington Post article, former Penn State assistant Mike McQueary claimed that Schiano knew that fellow coach Jerry Sandusky was molesting young boys.

On Nov. 27, Currie released a statement saying he was comfortable that Schiano had no role in the Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. The prosecutors involved in the case didn't investigate the Schiano's comments. By the end of the day, when Schiano was supposed to have been formally introduced, Tennessee bailed.

Davenport hasn't specified why she removed Currie and has said it was due to a "series of events" rather than a single tipping point.

At issue, if Schiano decides to sue, is whether the MOU represents a binding contract, and if Schiano would then be entitled to the 75 percent of the contract, or more than $20 million, that it awards him if he was indeed hired and then fired without cause.

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