After beating Michigan on Saturday, Ohio State is preparing to play Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game, with its hopes of making the College Football Playoff still very much alive. It's the Buckeyes defensive coordinator, Greg Schiano, however, who is currently at the center of the college football world.
Seemingly in response to online backlash and on-campus protests following reports of its decision to hire Schiano as its next head coach, Tennessee reportedly reneged on its agreement with the Ohio State assistant coach on Sunday afternoon. Among Volunteers fans complaints about Schiano was his link to the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal at Penn State, in which former Nittany Lions assistant Mike McQueary testified Schiano had told another staff member he had witnessed Sandusky's actions.
Schiano has denied seeing any abuse.
On Monday, Schiano's current boss, Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer, defended his assistant and longtime friend.
“He’s an elite person, elite father, elite husband, elite friend, and elite football coach," Meyer said. "I stand by my coach. I just don’t know enough. It’s not fair to my players.”
After amassing a 68-67 record, including a 5-1 mark in bowl games in 11 seasons as the head coach at Rutgers from 2001-2011, Schiano spent two years as the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who fired the New Jersey native following a 4-12 season in 2013. In 2016, he joined Meyer's staff as Ohio State's co-defensive coordinator, helping direct top-10 defenses for the Buckeyes in each of the last two seasons.
Sunday didn't mark the first time Schiano's name had been mentioned in coaching searches, as he had previously been linked to openings at UCLA, Miami (Fla.) and Oregon. It now appears it also won't be the last time, either.