Officials from Penn State, Ohio State defend Greg Schiano
A day after Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano was in negotiations to be the head football coach at Tennessee, then had any potential deal scrapped after an outcry on social media and protests at the school, two officials from previous and current employers came to his defense.
Anthony Lurano, a trustee at Penn State, said that Schiano being involved in the Jerry Sandusky case is untrue.
Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith called Schiano a man of "high integrity and great character."
“I can confidently say Coach Greg Schiano had nothing to do with Sandusky scandal," Lubrano said in a statement. "Any stories about his involvement are uncorroborated and without basis in fact. To impugn Mr. Schiano’s character based on hearsay alone is irresponsible and unfair.”
Statement from Penn State Trustee Anthony Lubrano on Greg Schiano pic.twitter.com/eqSy4gb6wq— Dan Wetzel (@DanWetzel) November 27, 2017
"Don't judge him on an unsubstantiated accusation," Smith told the Cleveland Plain Dealer on Monday. "There was no level of substantiation around that accusation. None. And if you really get to know the man, you'll find he has high integrity and great character.
"I've never seen anything like that before. Never. So it's a learning experience for me. I think this might be our first experience of this level of social media. I was shocked. I was actually more saddened, and it's because it was so visceral about a person."
At his weekly news conference Monday, Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer said "I'm not angry, but I'll make this comment: He's an elite father, an elite football coach and an elite friend and I stand by my coach."
The outrage of Volunteers fans, radio hosts and local media, who were unhappy that Schiano wasn't the big-name coach they were looking for, stemmed from his time on the staff at Penn State in the early 1990s.
Schiano was an assistant for the Nittany Lions for five seasons, four as the defensive backs coach on the staff of convicted child sexual abuser Jerry Sandusky. The association with Sandusky was what was used as the reason for anger by most of those upset.
Tennessee athletic director John Currie said Monday that he and his staff did their homework on Schiano before offering him the job.
"We carefully interviewed and vetted him, as we do candidates for all positions," Currie said in a statement. "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."