Remember that time Tennessee tried to hire Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano to be the head coach? After fans revolted against the pending coaching hire, Tennessee and Schiano walked away from each other, but there was the thought that Tennessee may still be on the hook for paying Schiano. That may no longer be an issue for the Vols according to a report out of Knoxville.
Jimmy Hyams of WNML reports the memorandum of understanding Tennessee and Schiano agreed to prior to officially signing a full contract may be invalid due to a missing signature. The signature in question belongs to the university’s chief financial officer or the university president. Without those signatures, the MOU could be ruled invalid in any court case regarding the contractual obligations Tennessee has toward Schiano.
UT Chancellor Beverly Davenport, through spokesman Ryan Robinson, did not sign the MOU. But whether she signed it or not is immaterial, according to UT’s policy.
The policy said the Chancellor only has the authority to sign “delegated contracts’’ – contracts for $100,000 or less. Any contract over $100,000 is considered a non-delegated contract.
To make a non-delegated contract official, it must be signed by UT’s Chief Financial Officer, who is David L. Miller.
This would be good news for Tennessee. The MOU laid out the terms of Schiano’s contract, a six-year deal valued at $4.5 million per year. How much of that contract Schiano would have been entitled to if the document was fully and properly signed without a formal contract being finalized afterward is best left to the legal experts who may be reading. But if this report is accurate, then it is pretty clear that Tennessee dodged another disaster at the hands of former athletics director John Currie.
Tennessee fired Currie in the aftermath of a disaster of a coaching search and named former football coach Phillip Fulmer the new AD. Since then, Tennessee has hired Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt to be the new head coach. Schiano remains Ohio State’s defensive coordinator.