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SLATE: Kansas State fans get to feel some schadenfreude at Tennessee’s expense

It’s a very slow news day in Manhattan, but we can still make fun of John Currie.

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Schiano was a bad choice for more than one reason.
Schiano was a bad choice for more than one reason.
Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

The one resonating feeling yesterday here at BotC World Headquarters was gratitude. After watching the carnage in Knoxville yesterday, we should all be thanking whatever deity we worship that John Currie left before being able to oversee the hiring of Bill Snyder’s eventual replacement.

Of course, we’ve already had reports that he tried to bungle it anyway, even with Snyder still under the university’s employ. But yesterday’s clownshow at Tennessee serves as a glaring reminder that K-State’s former athletic director simply has no idea what he’s doing.

News broke early in the day that Currie intended to offer the vacant Volunteer head coaching position to Greg Schiano, current Ohio State defensive coordinator and former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Rutgers head coach.

The problem, for some Volunteer fans, was Schiano’s resume prior to Rutgers -- namely serving as an assistant at Penn State during the time Jerry Sandusky was abusing young boys in the football facilities.

If you thought the outcry in Manhattan from fans wondering what the hell Currie was doing hiring Bruce Weber was loud, you received a quick adjustment yesterday if you were monitoring the situation. Local businesses tweeted that Schiano wasn’t welcome in their establishments. The Rock, a giant piece of dolomite which is freshly painted daily specifically so that it can be defaced again, bore a stark message:

The outcry reached a fever pitch mid-day, with Tennessee politicians starting to weigh in with their own objections, and by evening Tennessee had announced that Schiano would no longer be offered the job.

But here’s where the story gets really crazy.

You see, reportedly Currie and Schiano inked a memorandum of understanding, which is in layman’s terms sort of a contract to enter into a contract. It is, if properly signed, a legal and binding contract in and of itself. Michael McCann at Sports Illustrated, using a previous memorandum of understanding executed prior to Tennessee hiring Rick Barnes as head basketball coach, very clearly explains how this could come back to bite Tennessee in the posterior. Schiano could have a legal basis to collect a boatload of money from Tennessee for doing nothing.

Let’s be brutally honest: some folks are arguing that Tennessee fans don’t really care about the Penn State stuff, and they’re just mad because they couldn’t get Jon Gruden. We’re not going to pretend that all this didn’t start with that motive. It probably did.

It’s also worth noting that the deposition given by Mike McQueary which supposedly fingered Schiano was both hearsay and actually served to indicate that Schiano had done exactly what McQueary himself did: reported what he saw to a superior. As we’ve argued here before, years and years ago, that was technically the correct course of action for the assistants to take, although their failure to later contact the police themselves could be seen as poor judgement unless state reporting law actually prevented it, which is the case in some jurisdictions when state employees are involved.

But at the same time, we’re absolutely certain that even right here in the comments to this post there will be K-State fans arguing that they want nothing to do with anyone who served under Joe Paterno during the years Jerry Sandusky was present on campus, regardless of their complicity.

That’s a valid feeling, and it’s absurd to paint the entire Tennessee fanbase with the brush of cynicism. Many of the people raising an outcry might not even have a preference as to who Tennessee should hire; they just heard the commotion and decided on the spot who they didn’t want.

And the national media writers stirring the pot with conspiracy theories aren’t helping.

As for K-State fans and their newfound ability to smugly chuckle with certainty about having escaped the “John Currie hiring a football coach” guillotine, there’s one other nugget to savor: the Schiano outcry didn’t stop with “don’t hire Schiano”. There are Volunteer fans out for Currie’s head now, and they are not a tiny minority.

If that came to pass, not even a year into his tenure in Knoxville and after years of K-State insiders knowing his entire endgame in Manhattan was landing a big SEC job, it would be the most amusing outcome of all.

So, you probably want some actual K-State news today, huh? Sorry, but there’s not much.


Ken Corbitt writes about the stop K-State needed, even if Cyclone fans think they didn’t actually get it.

The mothership has announced its Piesman Trophy candidates, and AMS reports that K-State’s Kyle Ball is on the ballot. Go vote!

Per Pro Football Focus, Dalton Risner was pretty damned awesome Saturday:

It’s Monday, which means Shehan Jeyarajah at DieHards has his Big 12 players of the week ahead of the conference’s official announcement. Everyone give a big woohoo to two-time and repeat winner Skylar Thompson, who grabbed the Newcomer of the Week nod.