WaPo: The Tennessee-Schiano fiasco shows the charming and chilling power of fans

Submitted by StephenRKass on November 28th, 2017 at 4:48 PM

There is a great article from the Washington Post that was in yesterday's Chicago Tribune.

LINK:  Tennessee-Schiano fiasco shows the charming and chilling power of fans

In the ancient, sacred American tenets, there's a handy sliding scale of morality, including categories such as "12-0 morality" and "6-6 morality," that can help us process kerfuffles such as that big one Sunday in Tennessee.
Twelve-and-oh morality is a looser, more understanding morality. If a football coach has gone 12-0 or has shown a capacity to go 12-0, that coach can help himself to a wider array of sins, actual or alleged. A dreadful personality can be translated fluidly as necessary intensity. If this morality had a credo, it might be: You get the wins now; we'll think up the rationalizations later.
Six-and-six morality allows for indignation and even punishment for sins. It is akin to 3-and-4-with-a-boring-offense morality, which was invoked this season at Florida, where a coach went 3-4 and had a boring offense and got fired for making shocking comments. In 12-0 morality, it would go like this: You claim the death threats now; we'll go find them later — staging them, if necessary.
A 6-6 coach must always behave better than a 12-0 coach.
In the art of hiring coaches, fans are uncommonly lousy.
They're lousy because they're in love (with their schools and programs) and, as everyone knows, people in love have no judgment — all the judgment having seeped from the brain once love whooshed in and began flooding and disorienting the organ. That's how you can drive through so many college towns and hear the lovelorn on the radio, baying about how every star coach desires to come to this beautiful, beloved town.
Maybe Tennessee should pursue Bill Belichick.

I couldn't help but think of Michigan when reading this article. (There's much more delightful snark, and I thought it was well written.) Imhe, Michigan was in grave danger of becoming an irrelevant has-been, a school whose glory was all in the past. We have sometimes viewed ND in this way. MSU had a brief shining moment in the 50's and 60's, which passed by a long time ago.

I love Michigan, and greatly enjoy Michigan football. The team was regularly very good while I attended, and for more than a dozen years after I left. However, I think Michigan football was in a very bad place, and I give Harbaugh lots of leeway for the last three years. We had become irrelevant. As much as I gnash my teeth at two "if only" losses each to MSU and OSU, we are once again competing, if not all the way there yet.

I am 100% behind the proprietors and staff and mods who have had it with the irrational rabid crazy fanbase. I thought this article was a great picture of that kind of fanbase, albeit without a single mention of Michigan.



November 28th, 2017 at 4:51 PM ^

I think Schianno got hosed. Don't think he was a good fit at all for TN, but I'd sue if I was him. What he went through is gonna make every other college think twice about hiring him.


November 28th, 2017 at 6:38 PM ^

See, that's really the issue.  The leap from McQueary's testimony, which is hearsay and actually portrays him as reporting child rape, to "he covered up child rape", is pretty huge.  If you want to put him in jail, you'd need a mountain more evidence than that.  In between McQueary's testimony and "he covered up child rape" are Tennessee fans angry they were going to hire someone they perceive as a mediocre coach.


November 29th, 2017 at 12:33 AM ^

And remember that McQueary wasn't even the one who claimed to have seen it. He said Tom Bradley (IIRC) heard about it from Schiano. So McQueary was talking about 2nd hand info he hard about 30 years ago. To have reservations about Schiano and want to know more and even be against him being the coach because you're not sure is fine, but that shit got way overboard.


November 28th, 2017 at 9:06 PM ^

I agree that it's inadmissable hearsay, but both Bradley and Schiano have every incentive to refute McQueary'sv testimony even if it is true. Additionally, a court's standard for rules of evidence are not the standards by which a potential employer must abide.

An employer may very well take into account rumors it innuendo when making a hiring decision (provided that it's not based on a protected class), even if it's prudent that the employer undertake their own due diligence/investigation.


November 28th, 2017 at 5:31 PM ^

Its more that Schiano should've gone for a lower profile job HC job first.  Everyone remembers him for his failed time at TB and the bullshit we play to the final whistle thing.  Tennessee still thinks they deserve to sit at the big boy table and they think they should get someone better than a failed re-tread who hasn't been a HC in college or pros in almost five years.  The whole PSU thing is just a convenient excuse for them.  This is a fan base who honestly thought Jon Gruden was coming and that he'd be a great hire despite not coaching for the better part of a decade


November 28th, 2017 at 6:10 PM ^

It will not be Kiffin unless the man's last 20 tweets or so didn't burn every bridge he might still have had in Knoxville and somehow then he changed his mind. Yesterday and part of today, Kiffin seemed to be getting some level of enjoyment out of what was going on at his former employer. That being said, some of those troll tweets were pretty damn funny. 


November 28th, 2017 at 7:26 PM ^

However good Schiano and his lawyers think his case is, he has to weigh the money he might recover in court versus the reputational damages which could emerge from public testimony in a trial.

I believe it was PSU’s decision to sue one of their insurance companies over non-payment of a claim that led to the Schiano story coming to light. Even if PSU had won their case, they still would have come up short due to the further tarnishing of their reputation from testimony which emerged from the trial.


November 28th, 2017 at 6:13 PM ^

Sandusky was openly raping young boys in Penn States locker room for years. They all Fuckin knew. From the equipment manager to Paterno they all heard stuff so they all knew. It is more than enough evidence for Tennesee fans, but osu is good to go with schiano man. My guess is he saw Sandusky and so did others and that is why Sandusky did zero to hide it. Sandusky could have been bending kids over Paterno's desk and nothing would have been done in that twisted culture. They all knew and if you believe anything else keep sticking up for an osu coach. Oh ya O.J. is innocent and I was smoking a blunt with sasquatch last weekend.

snarling wolverine

November 28th, 2017 at 6:50 PM ^

Agree - it's very hard for me to buy that everyone genuinely knew nothing when Sandusky was molesting children for decades, right in their own facilities.  Of course they have a self-interest in denying everything.

Ultimately it comes down to Paterno doing nothing (or possibly even ordering them to keep quiet).  None of them had the courage to go against the boss.


November 28th, 2017 at 5:05 PM ^

stated that since the Chancellor at UT hadn’t signed the memorandum Schiano was not eligible to sue.

I have no idea if that is true or not just stating that is what was reported at the end of College Football Live yesterday.


November 28th, 2017 at 5:09 PM ^

to research this coming claim, but I’d be willing to bet $1 that it’s not too far off.

The UM football program is in the same position as the Minnesota football program.

Before negging me into oblivion and calling me names or a troll, just take a moment to think about it.

How often has Minnesota beaten its primary rivals over the last 20 years? How many times has Minnesota won the conference over the last 20 years? How many times has Minnesota won its division since the B1G expanded? How many times has Minnesota finished in 2nd or had a chance to win the division in the last week of the season?

I believe Harbaugh is UM’s best bet for the program, but I’ve been watching UM football for 20 years now and it’s been a remarkably discouraging experience of missed opportunities and unmet expectations...mostly due to those missed opportunities and the ascension of OSU and MSU feasting on horrible coaching since 2008.

I’m hopeful this will change soon, but I’ve gotten pretty close to finding a new hobby so my Thanksgiving isn’t ruined every damn year goin forward.

(I live in Dayton and have Buckeye fans in the family...it is awful)


November 28th, 2017 at 5:23 PM ^

I almost totally reject the comparison between Michigan and Minnesota. However, this is because of Harbaugh. I give JH the lion's share of credit for stopping the slide and turning things around. Another mediocre coaching hire could have been totally disastrous.

I think there is plenty of blame to go around for the decline of Michigan football, but it never got anywhere near the depths Minnesota has experienced. I would blame a number of the AD's following Canham. I would blame RR and late career Carr. I would blame the attitude of saying "this is Michigan" almost as an excuse for not keeping up with facilities and coaching and other stuff. I will partially blame Hoke. However, I also give Hoke partial credit for the current defense. Hoke and Mattison did a lot with the DL, which is why we're in a much better position.


November 28th, 2017 at 5:35 PM ^

I watched the OSU game and the Rose Bowl, was aware the Nebraska should have lost to Missourians not stolen half a title from UM. Otherwise, I’ve seen Tressel own UM and Dantonio take advantage of historically bad UM teams. UM may be in a better position than Minnesota and I’d say that mostly due to Harbaugh, but as far as having “successful” seasons, I posit that UM and Minnesota have had very similar success (or lack thereof). Minnesota has a lower bar to clear to get that “successful” season. UM expects B1G Championships, Minnesota just wants to beat Wisconsin. I would settle for 4/10 against OSU at this point, knowing that it would mean UM would likely win the B1G East 3 of those 4 years, to say nothing of actually winning the B1G at that point.

Here’s to hoping those better days start in 2018.


November 28th, 2017 at 8:36 PM ^

Here. This is essentially Michigan from the late Carr era until last year. It doesn't include 2017 yet, but while I could break down and do the math to include 2017 looking at this year's results it's not going to change the numbers dramatically.

Michigan--despite struggling mightily as we've all seen in the Rodriguez and Hoke years--comes in at #24 with a 64.4% winning percentage. (Ohio State comes in at #2. The bastards.) 

If we look at the last three years, Michigan comes in with a winning percentage of either 71.8% (if we lose the bowl game) or 74.3% (if we win it). 

Minnesota, on the other hand, comes tied for #68 with a 49.3% winning percentage, and (assuming they don't go to a bowl this year with their 5-7 record) 52.6% over the last three years.

So I don't really see it at all.



November 28th, 2017 at 5:41 PM ^

Thing that was a diary post before the WISC game. 2017 is considered a really bad season because UM lost 4/5 big games and lost to two historical rivals. 8-4 and a Florida Bowl, like 2007 doesn’t mean UM had a better year than Minnesota. I think most agree that rivalry wins salvage a season, while rivalry losses can sour one. UM has had a bunch of soured seasons, even doubly so (I’m sure there was a year or two where UM lost to ND or Minnesota as well). I’d still call 8-4 a bad year at that point.