Friday morning update: after a contract offer to Jon Gruden was reported from Stephen Hargis of The Chattanooga Times Free Press, sending Vol fans into a frenzy late last night, this morning Jimmy Hyams of The Sports Animal in Knoxville counters with:
Jon Gruden is out as UT candidate. Informed UT recently after phone talks last week. UT never offered contract, source said.— Jimmy Hyams (@JimmyHyams) November 30, 2012
So, yet again we have completely contradictory reports, and it seems no one can feel 100% secure in any school of thought at this point. And there is an increasing fear that The Powers That Be at Tennessee aren't exactly on the same page, which is especially dangerous because Gruden for now remains the only name that would put all of the Tennessee fanbase on the same page.
If, in fact, Gruden is out, at this point it you almost need Dave Hart to release a statement or get in front of a camera and say the Vols are not going to pursue him. As long as there is reason to believe he either could have been or still is in play, Tennessee fans are going to want him as their guy. If he's not going to be the guy, the Vols would be wise to say so in an official capacity, give it at least 48-72 hours before announcing the next guy, and then we all move on together. But again, it does still seem there is plenty of room to believe what you want to believe about this right now. All we know for sure is Tennessee will play #20 Georgetown in basketball at 6:30 PM ET tonight on ESPN. We think.
This story continues to evolve...stay tuned.