VFLs, fans sound off on coaching search, near hire of Greg Schiano

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) - This weekend's decision to hire current Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano was overturned. Students, faculty and fans made their way to UT's campus to protest the hire Sunday night and for the first time this season, the Vols fan base is getting its way.

Vol fans have made their voices heard loud and clear taking to social media, calling into radio shows and even protesting on campus Sunday.

Jake Tidwell, a UT student and fan, was one of the first people to show up to the protest.

"It was amazing to see the response. We were there 15 minutes and waves of people showed up," said Tidwell.

Tidwell says fans still have many questions about why the potential hiring of Greg Schiano was even considered.

"It's concerning with all of the allegations in place," said Tidwell, referring to the time Schiano spent at Penn State.

Other fans said they are ready to move forward, hoping a good decision will come soon after what's already been a roller coaster of a season.

"As if you thought it couldn't get worse, then all that happened Sunday. It's just been rough. It's been rough," said fan Jesse Thomason.

Meanwhile, for those who have taken to the field wearing orange and white, it's not any easier wondering what's next for the UT football program.

"I've just been so numb," said VFL Jayson Swain.

Swain said it's time for the university to get back to the program's roots and lean on their numerous contacts and assets.

"We have too many resources to be in this position, so we need to come together and do what's right for Tennessee. The fans deserve it; the players deserve it. We need to make it happen," said Swain.

Other former players like Fuad Reviez said the decision to nearly hire Greg Schiano was rushed and more research should have been done.

"I really question our leadership role in our athletic director in making a ridiculous decision, a reckless decision in my mind," said Reviez. "To me we are a laughing stock to the NCAA. It's disgusting."

J.J. Surlas, who was one of the team captains in 1992, said it is tough to watch this narrative unfold.

"UT football is the state. People bleed orange. It's huge to everybody," said Surlas.

Going on to say the coaching position is not just important for the team but all of Vol nation.

"We just got to find the right guy, to work with our athletes and with the community and the history of what Tennessee has so we can get back on the right track," said Surlas.

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