UPDATE: Tennessee Athletic Director releases statement
Tennessee is no longer pursuing Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano to be the school's new head coach.
UPDATE: University of Tennessee Athletic Director John Currie has released the following statement in regards to the school's coaching search:
"As we began our search for our next head football coach earlier this month, I promised that I would pour all my energy and effort into this process.
I have followed Coach Schiano’s accomplishments throughout his career and have been fortunate to get to know him and his family over the last several years. As reported by the media, he was a leading candidate for our position. Among the most respected professional and college football coaches, he is widely regarded as an outstanding leader who develops tough, competitive teams and cares deeply about his student-athletes.
We carefully interviewed and vetted him, as we do candidates for all positions. He received the highest recommendations for character, family values and commitment to academic achievement and student-athlete welfare from his current and former athletics directors, players, coaching colleagues and experienced media figures.
Coach Schiano worked at Penn State from 1990-1995. Consequently, we, of course, carefully reviewed the 2012 investigation report by Louis Freeh. Coach Schiano is not mentioned in the Freeh report and was not one of the more than 400 people interviewed in the investigation. We also confirmed that Coach Schiano was never deposed and never asked to testify in any criminal or civil matter. And, we conferred with our colleagues at The Ohio State University, who had conducted a similar inquiry after the 2016 release of testimony. I know that Coach Schiano will continue to have great success in his coaching career and wish him and his family well.
I am grateful for your patience as our search for the next leader for the Tennessee football program continues, and I look forward to making that introduction soon."
PREVIOUS STORY: The deal to make Greg Schiano the next head coach of the Vols is off, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.
Multiple media outlets reported Sunday that the University of Tennessee and Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano were close finalizing a deal that would make him head coach of the Tennessee football program.
Just got off the phone with a prominent UT booster who said he has been furious all day over the handling of this and that the deal with Schiano now being called off does nothing to alleviate the anger over the whole situation.— Stephen Hargis (@StephenHargis) November 27, 2017
But by Sunday night, sources said that the deal was "off the table" after the Big Orange fan base made it very clear that "it did not support the hiring of a coach who was loosely implicated in the cover-up of a child rape scandal at Penn State."
Protesters gathered around Neyland Stadium on Sunday to speak-out against the potential hiring.
Greg Schiano's name was also trending for most of the day Sunday, as fans took to Twitter to voice their concerns.
PREVIOUS STORY: According to USA TODAY's Dan Wolken, Tennessee is working to finalize a deal with Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano to become the Vols' next head coach.
Wolken cites that a person with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports that Tennessee officials were hoping to be in position to announce the hire on Sunday afternoon.
Schiano has thirteen years of head coaching experience, having coached in the NFL for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and at the college level for Rutgers.
He has spent the past two seasons as Urban Meyer's assistant head coach and defensive coordinator at Ohio State.
Schiano went 68-67 in eleven seasons as Rutgers' coach from 2001-11, guiding the Scarlet Knights to six winning campaigns and six bowl games in his last seven seasons there.
Tennessee is finalizing the deal with Schiano. Hopes to name him later today, per person with direct knowledge.— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) November 26, 2017