In the post right below this one, we noted that curiously missing from one prominent gambling website’s odds on favorites to land the Tennessee job is the one individual most often connected to the opening.
Apparently, the degenerates know what the hell they’re talking about.
In the latest, and hopefully the last, dot connecting Jon Gruden to UT, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reported overnight that the Vols have made what’s described by sources close to the process as a very lucrative offer to the current ESPN personality. Based on the Chattanooga paper’s report, the only thing standing in the way of a consummation is money that would be devoted to assembling a coaching staff.
Or, ya know, the candidate actually agreeing to the opportunity in the first place.
According to Jimmy Hyams of WNML radio in Knoxville, Gruden, while he appreciated the opportunity, “is OUT as a candidate” for the Vols’ coaching job. Gruden reportedly informed UT officials of his decision after phone conversations — but apparently no face-to-face meetings — took place over the past week.
Hyams went on to write via Twitter that “UT athletic director Dave Hart will continue to interview candidates in New York next week.” An announcement on a new coach, per Hyams, is expected in the next 7-10 days.
UPDATED 9:33 a.m. ET: CBSSports.com NFL insider Mike Freeman, one of the most respected names in the big-boy league game, has confirmed Hyams’ report via Twitter.
“Reported earlier this week Gruden would speak with Tennessee AD. He has and source close to Gruden confirms he told the Vols no thanks,” he wrote.
Freeman then got to the heart of what many observers have felt about the whole Gruden-to-Vols phenomenon: the man who has not coached at any level since 2008 loved being pursued by colleges as he leveraged a return to the NFL sidelines.
“I”m told Gruden’s interest was moderate at best,” wrote Freeman. “To me, Gruden just wanted to be wooed, and use the Vols as bait for pro teams.”
UPDATED 10:59 a.m. ET: The Knoxville News Sentinel is the latest to report Gruden is no longer a candidate, writing that “Gruden has told Tennessee he is not interested in pursuing the Vols’ vacant head coaching job.”
Per a source, the News Sentinel states that Gruden decided against pursuing the job after discussing the opportunity with his family.