Conservative Republican gubernatorial candidate Mae Beavers blasted the rumored hire of former Rutgers head coach and Penn State assistant coachGreg Schiano as head coach of the University of Tennessee football team on Sunday.
“Tennessee’s next football coach should be someone with a strong record of achieving success for our kids, both on and off the field,” Beavers said in a statement released by her campaign late Sunday.
“But most importantly, the next coach should absolutely NOT be someone who was potentially complicit in the abuse of countless children by disgraced child molester and former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky,” Beavers added in the statement.
The statement continued:
Beavers’ comments followed reports, including by the Washington Post, that revealed testimony stemming from the Penn State abuse scandal that indicated that Schiano was aware of Sandusky’s abuse.
Beavers did acknowledge that these allegations against Schiano have not been proven.
Yet in response, Beavers stated that, if true, “Schiano should be behind bars and not on the sideline of any football team.” In addition, Beavers pointed to numerous other reasons that UT should concentrate their hiring efforts on other candidates, including Schiano’s lackluster career at Rutgers and with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“Tennessee fans deserve better. I spent years in the legislature fighting for tougher penalties against child abusers and for strong laws against child sex slavery. We deserve someone with our values, and I seriously hope Athletic Director John Currie will reconsider this decision if these rumors are, in fact, true,” said Beavers.
Beavers concluded by stating: “Jon Gruden, if you are listening, Tennessee fans are still holding out hope…”
Schiano is currently the defensive coordinator at Ohio State University, which is currently ranked in the Top Ten.
Previously, he was briefly the head coach of the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers in what was considered an unsuccessful tenure.
In his previous job as head coach at Rutgers University, Schiano is credited with turning the moribund program there into a national power, at least temporarily.
The Tennessee job opened up after head coach Butch Jones was fired earlier this month after a dismal fifth season. The team was 4 and 6 when Jones was fired. It closed out the season with a 4 and 8 record after Vanderbilt blew out the Vols on Saturday, 42 to 24.