Gruden, Haslam, Browns shoot down Memphis report over UT deal

Jon Gruden has become a hot item on the coaching wish list this season. 

(Associated Press)

Jon Gruden has become a hot item on the coaching wish list this season. (Associated Press)

"Jimmy Haslam has no involvement in the University of Tennessee head coaching search, and the report that Jon Gruden would potentially have an ownership stake in the Browns is completely erroneous."

Neil Gulkis, Cleveland Browns Vice President of Media Relations

Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam III, right, and Browns new CEO Joe Banner answer questions during a news conference Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012, in Berea, Ohio.

AP Photo/Tony Dejak

Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam III, right, and Browns new CEO Joe Banner answer questions during a news conference Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012, in Berea, Ohio.

Appearing on ESPN's "Mike and Mike" show on Wednesday morning, former NFL coach Jon Gruden shot down a report out of Memphis that he had an offer in-hand to become the next football coach at the University of Tennessee.

Later in the morning, Tennessee athletic department spokesman Jimmy Stanton said the university would not discuss details of its coaching search.

"We won't talk about any of the dynamics of the search until it is finalized," Stanton said.

Memphis TV station WREG-3's Glenn Carver announced on their newscast Tuesday night that the former Tampa Bay coach had a deal and that an announcement on his hiring could be made as soon as Wednesday.

"I'm just trying to focus on keeping the job I have," Gruden told the ESPN hosts.

It is the latest in the continuing drumbeat of Gruden claims, none of which have been confirmed by UT or Gruden. And as of this morning, Tennessee has no press conference scheduled to discuss the coaching situation.

One of the provisions claimed by the report to be a part of that deal was that Gruden would receive a small ownership stake in the Cleveland Browns from owner Jimmy Haslam III, a Tennessee alumnus.

By mid-morning, Haslam and the Browns felt compelled to address the matter in strong terms.

"Jimmy Haslam has no involvement in the University of Tennessee head coaching search, and the report that Jon Gruden would potentially have an ownership stake in the Browns is completely erroneous," Browns Vice President of Media Relations Neil Gulkis said in an official statement.

The original claim had already drawn attention on a number of websites, as Gruden is still receiving buyout payments from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and as such might be prohibited from agreeing to a stake in the Browns until those payments end in mid-December.

Furthermore, it has been suggested that in order to strike that deal the Haslam family would first have to "gift" the ownership stake in the Browns to the University of Tennessee, who would then, in turn, give it to Gruden as part of his contract.

Whether Gruden could be prohibited from later taking an NFL job without first selling his stake in the Browns is another question that remains unanswered.

As it stands, though, the story focused even more attention on Gruden-to-Tennessee rumors.

The original story from WREG-TV can be seen by clicking here.

© 2012 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 290

69grad writes:

Still just a rumor...but interesting.

revjulian writes:

This would be great if its true. How many other coaches do you know of that retire from their schools as part owners of an NFL team? Lets hope we get Chucky.

TNFaninFL writes:

Whatever it takes do hit the PR and recruiting home run because that is exactly what is needed at this point in time. A big energy boost for the fans, recruits, coaches and league. If the Haslam's can get this done with the university... hooray. It would be a big momentum shifter, can you imagine the recruiting leverage this would give the Vols ???

snowpeapod#263184 writes:

Does this surprise anyone that this is being reported by a Memphis station? Makes no difference how much they try and discredit UT we will never be as bad as Memphis.

Clarkrm0706 writes:

I find it unlikely that anyone in Memphis has the inside scoop on UT.

BolivrBob writes:

Believe the Dream!!!!!

Geofffourmyle writes:

Wow.

Walt

UT '81

snowpeapod#263184 writes:

Let me add to my last comment, I am referring to the University and not the city.

volt11 writes:

reported by Glenn Carver? That's enough right there to tell you there is no truth in it.

HallowedHill writes:

Where there is smoke...

TKO writes:

I still think Petrino would be the best college coach to take. How does Gruden do with recruiting?

JDX47 writes:

Interesting article. Hope it is true and that we get lots of attention so we can recruit the best of the best. Surely we would move from 23rd ranking in recruiting to the top 10.

BolivrBob writes:

Where does it say Gruden shot it down?

Clarkrm0706 writes:

Love how the title of the story changed while I was commenting. For anyone that joins this discussion later, "Gruden shoots down" was not part of the original title.

arkyvol writes:

in response to TKO:

I still think Petrino would be the best college coach to take. How does Gruden do with recruiting?

watching him from the front row here in arkansas, i can tell you that petrino is no whiz at recruiting. he's got the personality of a brick. i don't think his classes were ever higher than the mid-20s. he made up for it with coaching brilliance. put him with ogeron or trooper taylor, and you'd have one helluva team.

HopeisNotaCourseofAction writes:

BREAKING NEWS --- BREAKING NEWS....dateline Mempuss, and this just in from a Mempuss janitor who was cleaning the offices in the FedEx Hqs and overheard a secreatary talking on the phone who was on a conference call with her favorite 2 BBQ restaurant cooks, "...yes, yes, and that's not all, they also kicked in some Pilot gas stations around Knoxville and free Garmin GPS devices for everyone in his family and closest friends..."

BolivrBob writes:

in response to HopeisNotaCourseofAction:

BREAKING NEWS --- BREAKING NEWS....dateline Mempuss, and this just in from a Mempuss janitor who was cleaning the offices in the FedEx Hqs and overheard a secreatary talking on the phone who was on a conference call with her favorite 2 BBQ restaurant cooks, "...yes, yes, and that's not all, they also kicked in some Pilot gas stations around Knoxville and free Garmin GPS devices for everyone in his family and closest friends..."

Bwahahahahhahhahahahaha

BigOrangeRock writes:

Hire Fulmer back. He can transition to Peyton/Chief in a couple of years, once he brings LIFE BACK to the program.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to BolivrBob:

Where does it say Gruden shot it down?

I'm telling you, this deal has been done..I hope Memphis didn't ruin it by alerting ESPN..Go Vols!

crappieking writes:

in response to HopeisNotaCourseofAction:

BREAKING NEWS --- BREAKING NEWS....dateline Mempuss, and this just in from a Mempuss janitor who was cleaning the offices in the FedEx Hqs and overheard a secreatary talking on the phone who was on a conference call with her favorite 2 BBQ restaurant cooks, "...yes, yes, and that's not all, they also kicked in some Pilot gas stations around Knoxville and free Garmin GPS devices for everyone in his family and closest friends..."

stupid

Exiled writes:

in response to BolivrBob:

Where does it say Gruden shot it down?

And he didn't say " I am not going to be the next coach at UT." Did he? From what I read, there was no denial.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to Clarkrm0706:

I find it unlikely that anyone in Memphis has the inside scoop on UT.

Well, Memphis does house the Med/UT medical school. And besides the Haslams the most influencial boosters attached to UT are doctors located in Memphis TN. That's why UT played games against UCLA and other big SEC games at the Liberty Bowl instead of Neyland.

ARANGEVOL writes:

HE DIDNT SHOOT IT DOWN! Nice offer. Will he accept it? Stay tuned for more of AS U.T TURNS.
Its anice offer and his kids grand parents are there also the Grudens Knoxville house. I think hes ours to loose.

gobigorange5090 writes:

What is so great about a coach who was FIRED for not winning enough games?? His winning percentage is in the 500's. I dont get the Gruden fascination.

Clarkrm0706 writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

Well, Memphis does house the Med/UT medical school. And besides the Haslams the most influencial boosters attached to UT are doctors located in Memphis TN. That's why UT played games against UCLA and other big SEC games at the Liberty Bowl instead of Neyland.

Yeah, true. Still think they would leak this to an eastern TN news outlet not scoop K-town.
Either way, I will have to see an official announcement for ANY coach.

ccjackson40#254643 writes:

in response to Exiled:

And he didn't say " I am not going to be the next coach at UT." Did he? From what I read, there was no denial.

I was listening to it on ESPN radio when Mike and Mike asked him about it and he flat denied what they said about a deal in place that would give him an ownership role in the Browns. He then abruptly ended the conversation before anything else could be asked about the UT job. If he is going to be the next coach I don't think the deal is going to be what this article states and he never gave them the chance to ask if he was a candidate for the job and seemed pretty upset that it was brought up by them

SummittsCourt writes:

I was in my car driving to work when Gruden came on the Mike & Mike show on espn to do his weekly bit. He didn't just deny it, he strongly denied it with a bit of frustration in his voice as if to say he is getting tired of all of these rumors and his name.

Once again, don't be so gullable - Gruden is not going to be coaching UT football next season.

It's best to put the attention on getting someone who is interested in coaching at UT.

GR82BaTennesseeVOL writes:

in response to gobigorange5090:

What is so great about a coach who was FIRED for not winning enough games?? His winning percentage is in the 500's. I dont get the Gruden fascination.

His winning percentage happens to be one of the highest all-time in the NFL. Look it up.

ccjackson40#254643 writes:

in response to ARANGEVOL:

HE DIDNT SHOOT IT DOWN! Nice offer. Will he accept it? Stay tuned for more of AS U.T TURNS.
Its anice offer and his kids grand parents are there also the Grudens Knoxville house. I think hes ours to loose.

No he definitely shot down what the guy in Memphis is reporting he was clear about that. But he ended the conversation before anything else about the UT job could be asked.

Clarkrm0706 writes:

Summitts and ccjackson heard the same interview and walked away with completey different takes, we humans are so interesting. :)

Rumblefish writes:

The whole "Gruden coming to UT" stuff was funny for a while. Now it's just annoying. Let it go already.

NOT

GOING

TO

HAPPEN

TNFaninFL writes:

in response to SummittsCourt:

I was in my car driving to work when Gruden came on the Mike & Mike show on espn to do his weekly bit. He didn't just deny it, he strongly denied it with a bit of frustration in his voice as if to say he is getting tired of all of these rumors and his name.

Once again, don't be so gullable - Gruden is not going to be coaching UT football next season.

It's best to put the attention on getting someone who is interested in coaching at UT.

What do you expect him to say .. yea, I have been talking with UT ? Everyone denies everything until it happens, guarantee you, if that is the deal, he is thinking about it.

Colliervol writes:

Still in the wait and see mode but it's starting to look interesting. If it goes, those involved would get kudos for innovation for sure. One thing I've learned about coaches and job openings. If their lips are moving, they're lying. If the details are true, I'm sure Gruden and Haslam want to keep it under wraps until the NFL conflict is ironed out. Have to stay tuned. I don't see anywhere where he's said he will not be the UT coach.

Runman280 writes:

1. To clear something up, Gruden DIDN'T say no to the UT coaching job. He said no to the UT-Browns deal.

2. Gruden sounded irritated and rushed when the question was asked, and he didn't specifically say "I'm not going to be the Head Coach for the Tennessee Volunteers." He instead said that he wanted to talk about something else. He had a chance to put the UT rumors to rest and didn't.

3. Anyone remember Nick Saban and the whole "I'm not going to coach at Alabama." craziness?

GloryDays writes:

The ball is in Gruden court, if he wants it, it is his. I find it hard to believe he will take it. I think Al Golden will be the next head coach of the Vols. He is young, a good coach, a good recruiter and the Miami situation is a mess. Charlie Strong is another possibility. Annoncement on the new coach will be next Monday or Tuesday!

3volfan writes:

while we are at it, can we get Tom Landry, or maybe Chuck Noll.........how bout Bill Cowher, or maybe Bill Belicheck will come to coach at the town of his dogs best friends, sisters brother in laws hometown. whatchya think?

MGVOL22 writes:

What is up with the Gruden obsession....Seriously, can someone explain this to me?

Also, he is an NFL coach, meaning if he did come to UT, he would leave in 2 or 3 years for the right NFL job.....on top of that....What makes him so attractive as a college coach?

bigmj writes:

Jon Grudens career record is 95-81, which is a .540 winning percentage with a 5-4 record in the playoffs for a .556 winning percentage.
He was 38-26 at Oakland and 2-2 in the playoffs.
He was 57-55 at Tampan and 3-2 in the playoffs.

fundamentals83 writes:

"Jimmy Haslam has no involvement in the University of Tennessee head coaching search"
I CALL BS. I have friends that work at Pilot who have told me of Haslam's involvement in the actual interview process for coaches.

SavTnVol writes:

word on tv news this am was that Arkanses is going after Les Miles. Why no reporting on that? Any thruth to it KNS?

dragon18 writes:

in response to BigOrangeRock:

Hire Fulmer back. He can transition to Peyton/Chief in a couple of years, once he brings LIFE BACK to the program.

OMG!!!!! Fulmer is gone!!!! I had/have great respect for the man but you can't go backwards!!!! Please let it go so we can build a FUTURE for UT!!!

6972 writes:

It seems to me the tea leaves have dried up. the crystal ball is opaque, and the wee gee board has been turned over. We will know, what we know, when we know it from Hart and not a minute before.
But, if we want to live in a dream world, then dream on.

thevoice writes:

in response to MGVOL22:

What is up with the Gruden obsession....Seriously, can someone explain this to me?

Also, he is an NFL coach, meaning if he did come to UT, he would leave in 2 or 3 years for the right NFL job.....on top of that....What makes him so attractive as a college coach?

1. His visibility on TV alone will make him a stellar recruiter. Just look at the articles about how HS recruits think of this. BTW, recruiting is the most important factor at UT.

2. College players can trust that Gruden knows what it takes to get to the league.

3. He has won a championship at the highest level of football, Dungy's team or not.

4. He is considered extremely well connected and would likely get the best assistant coaches.

5. He has the "it" factor, something Dooley did not.

In summary, for the most part, he would unite the UT fan base.

SavTnVol writes:

in response to thevoice:

1. His visibility on TV alone will make him a stellar recruiter. Just look at the articles about how HS recruits think of this. BTW, recruiting is the most important factor at UT.

2. College players can trust that Gruden knows what it takes to get to the league.

3. He has won a championship at the highest level of football, Dungy's team or not.

4. He is considered extremely well connected and would likely get the best assistant coaches.

5. He has the "it" factor, something Dooley did not.

In summary, for the most part, he would unite the UT fan base.

"In summary, for the most part, he would unite the UT fan base.".....great comment..that IS needed

Rumblefish writes:

in response to SavTnVol:

"In summary, for the most part, he would unite the UT fan base.".....great comment..that IS needed

How exactly would it unite the fan base???? half the people on here DON'T WANT HIM

6972 writes:

in response to SavTnVol:

word on tv news this am was that Arkanses is going after Les Miles. Why no reporting on that? Any thruth to it KNS?

Trade LSU for Fayetteville...he would be an idiot. SEC contender every year for Hogs. Ark must live in a dream world if they think Miles would do that.

y2church#372759 writes:

If we pay it... he will come.

Lay the dough!

Church

TheEffect writes:

I think Gruden to UT is not going to happen....and that is probably a good thing for UT. It is apparent that the fanbase is divided on him, and it would cost a truckload to get him. If he failed at UT, they would have to borrow money from China to recover.

A name I keep hearing (outside of Knoxville) is Butch Jones. It was reported that he turned down Kentucky....holding out for Tennessee or Arkansas. I think he would be a good hire. I would certainly take him over Strong at Louisville.

mbible1utk#324980 writes:

Hey guys, no matter what, Nick Saban is NOT leaving the Miami Dolphins to take the Alabama job. you can write that in stone.

VolBall18 writes:

I heard the conversation on Mike and Mike, and all Gruden denied was that he didn't have deal with the Browns. He didn't deny the coaching job. A few days ago I didn't think he would come, but I'm started to get the feeling he's already signed. There's also a copy from the Director of Admissions of Webb stating that his child has been accepted for the spring 2013 semester surfacing. I actually have the copy in my hand right now. Now, of course, there's no factual evidence that this is real but it look's pretty legit. It has the Director's signature and phone # and everything.

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