After "serious talks" with his agent, Cheek/Hart reportedly offered memphispete $10M over 3 years with a $2.5M buyout clause. Of course, that rumor is third hand news from fifth hand sources. It may have even been scrawled on a rest stop bathroom wall, but it showed up on a tweet some place so it much be true.
"I love the Vols and wanted to help the university out of an embarrassing situation. Our repeated failures to woo and win over a quality football coach made us look like the unpopular guy in junior high who went from hitting on cheerleaders to being rebuffed by the fat ugly nerdy girl in the corner. It was pathetic.
This is a great university with phenomenal facilities and incredibly passionate fans. We have a tradition of recruiting great players from around the country and have won SEC championships along with our National Championship in 1998. Our failure to market this with a cohesive search is a black eye to the university.
I offered to step in and coach the Vols for 'half price'. I figured half of what Gruden demanded would make me fabulously wealthy for life, even if I only made it thru one season. My coaching record would have been no bigger joke than the bumbling, stumbling effort that has comprised this coaching search. Since they didn't want to open up the checkbook, I stepped aside.
I wish the university and Coach Butch Jones well. Good luck, coach."