FootballScoop

How fake news and an online mob killed Tennessee’s hiring of Greg Schiano

News broke Sunday that Tennessee was close to hiring Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano as the Vols’ new head coach. And then all hell broke loose.

It started almost immediately after the news broke. Here’s one of the most influential members of the Big Orange media.

While much of the backlash is centered around the fact that Schiano isn’t Jon Gruden, it’s also related to Schiano’s alleged involvement in the Jerry Sandusky scandal at Penn State. Schiano denies any knowledge of the affair and the attorney general presiding over the case did not find the claim credible enough to investigate, but that hasn’t kept the orange-painted pitchforks in the shed.

It didn’t take long before congressmen and state representatives were weighing in as well to voice their displeasure.

The blowback even reached the White House. At least it appears to.

Famous former Vols like Albert Haynesworth also didn’t hold back.

Vols fan and professional provocateur Clay Travis attempted to mount up an online mob to prevent Currie from hiring Schiano.

Travis also resorted to this.

And here’s just a sampling of the reaction among the Big Orange faithful.

Local business even got in on the act.

At least one media personality attempted to be the voice of reason in this whole deal.

From here, there are really two courses of action. Either athletic director Currie sticks to his guns in the face of the public backlash and is confident that this is the right decision to move the program forward, or he folds under the pressure, a deal ultimately doesn’t get done and cedes control of the Tennessee football program to mob rule.

And it looked like Currie was walking through Door No. 1.

However, on Sunday night, longtime Knoxville radio host Jimmy Hyamms reported a scheduled press conference was now off.

And then the entire deal was off.

So where does the Tennessee search go from here? And do Vols brass — and the online mob that now apparently runs the fan base — let Currie continue to run it?