Greg Schiano was set to become the highest-paid coach in University of Tennessee football history.
According to the memorandum of understanding signed by Schiano and former Tennessee athletic director John Currie, Schiano was to receive a six-year deal starting at $4.4 million annually in 2018 with an increase of $50,000 for each ensuing year. Details of the MOU were released Monday by the university after multiple media outlets executed an open records request.
Schiano, the Ohio State defensive coordinator and former head coach of Rutgers University and the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers, had his opportunity to coach Tennessee thwarted Nov. 26 by a public backlash involving fans, former players and multiple state legislators. The uprising occurred one day after Tennessee's 4-8 season concluded with a 42-24 home loss to Vanderbilt.
Former Tennessee coach Butch Jones, who was fired Nov. 12, made $4.11 million this past season, his fifth in Knoxville. Currie was suspended by university chancellor Beverly Davenport on Dec. 1, with Davenport naming Phillip Fulmer the new AD that same day.
Davenport and Fulmer introduced new coach Jeremy Pruitt last Thursday evening. Pruitt, who has spent the past two seasons as Alabama's defensive coordinator, agreed to a six-year deal that will pay him $3.8 million annually and contains several incentives.
The MOU with Schiano was signed by Currie but not by Davenport or David Miller, the university's chief financial officer. According to the MOU, the document "constitutes a binding agreement between the coach and university," but ESPN reported Monday night that the university claims the lack of Miller's signature makes it invalid.
Vols drop three
Tennessee's class of 2018 commitments has shrunk by three after defensive end Jamarcus Chatman of Rome, Ga., and cornerbacks Brandon Cross and Tanner Ingle of Orlando opened their recruitments. The Vols once were ranked in the top five of the 247Sports.com team rankings but were 39th as of Monday evening. They have 12 known commitments.
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