Thursday, November 15, 2012

0 Gruden to UT picking up steam

By Shaee Flatt

It seems there has been a major movement in regards to Jon Gruden coaching the Tennessee Volunteers next season. Knoxville radio host Tony Basilio broke news this morning that his sources, who are very close to the situation, tell him that a major hurdle in signing Jon Gruden has been resolved and that Gruden WILL accept the job, if offered.

A few weeks ago, Basilio reported that the University would not officially offer unless they knew for certain that Gruden would accept. Well, that time may be approaching. From all accounts, it seems that the major negotiations between Jon Gruden and Tennessee have come from donors, not the athletic department itself. The donors believe Gruden will accept as well, but many are worried that his financial demands may be too high. According to Basilio, Gruden wants $50 million dollars over 10 years. That’s $5 million per, which would make Gruden the second highest coach in college football annually behind Texas’ Mack Brown.

It’s also been reported that Gruden would want nearly $4 million more to assemble an elite coaching staff, as well complete control over the entire football program and virtually unlimited funds for recruiting. The demands really couldn’t be much higher for Gruden, but if Gruden will accept, UT Athletic Director, Dave Hart, has no choice. He has to give Gruden what he wants or risk losing all fan support. At this point, the Tennessee faithful is so caught up in getting Jon Gruden that anybody else would be a disappointment. You have to do it if you’re Tennessee. The money will be made back with sold out stadiums and merchandise sales very quickly, anyway. If anyone should know how much revenue a successful football program can make a school, it’s Dave Hart, who came to Tennessee from Alabama.

Basilio isn’t the only one who is calling Gruden to Knoxville.’s Jason La Canfora, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen,’s Frank Frangie, and Clay Travis from are all reporting that Tennessee is Gruden’s No. 1 option when it comes to returning to the sidelines. Others, such as UT beat writer, Wes Rucker, have reported that Gruden is certainly interested, but aren’t willing to go any further than that. The steam is certainly picking up.

It should be noted that most reports say that Derek Dooley will be officially fired after the Kentucky game should Tennessee lose, and say that it is Gruden’s wish to finish the season on Monday Night football, before being announced as the next Head Coach at Tennessee, should an agreement be reached. Speculation has already begun about Gruden making it official when the Buffalo Bills visit the Tennessee Titans in the second to last Monday Night Football matchup of the season. I mean, we can dream, right?

Whether Gruden eventually accepts the Tennessee job or not, it appears one thing is for certain, the Vols are making a really strong push at him, and he is very interested. Also, I’ve officially made my Christmas list… 1) Jon Gruden. The end! Keep it Gruden, Grudenites!


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