Tennessee and John Currie have officially split, agreeing to a settlement of 2.5 million. However, leaked emails and texts from Currie have stolen the headlines tonight. The messages provide us some detail as to what in the world happened during that insane coaching search that ultimately led to Currie’s suspension.
First up: Here’s former Tennessee AD John Currie texting with Dan Wolken of USA Today, who broke the initial story of Greg Schiano being hired at Tennessee.
Have reached the "wacko" portion of these documents, where Currie and a national reporter shared a nice little moment. pic.twitter.com/6PU1jEDRXm— David Cobb (@DavidWCobb) March 23, 2018
The big takeaway here is Currie calling “our people” — presumedly Tennessee fans — “wacko.” Currie asks Wolken for help spinning the hire positively, which Wolken certainly did on the Sunday afternoon that the hire was attempted.
Also, if you knew how poorly Schiano was going to be received, why are you still pulling that trigger? It was his job to hire the best man for the job, but the fanbase has to at least be somewhat on board.
After letting the Jon Gruden rumors float for so long without squashing them — no matter how ridiculous they were — you’re going to come back and present the fanbase with Greg Schiano? That was never going to end well. You’re talking about a truly starved fanbase that has watched their football program fall from royalty to the sewer of the SEC.
Dan Mullen, Mike Norvell, Jeff Brohm, Mike Gundy... the list goes on and on. These were just some of the guys that Tennessee fans were expecting to hear at least get an interview. Currie seemingly started and ended his search with a guy that was far from a commodity. Every guy he interviewed in the following week would have been better received than Schiano.
Throughout the search, Currie was labelled tone-deaf by many. That seems to have turned out to be an accurate reading.