When reports surfaced that The
University of Tennessee was nearing a deal signing Greg Schiano as its
new head football coach, Vol Nation took to social media to voice
"It just took on an incredible life of its own," public relations
consultant Mike Cohen said. "The Rock's been painted, Twitter's going
crazy, Facebook's going crazy, and obviously the reason to pick a coach
is to make the fans happy and get them back into the fold and not have
more Saturdays like the one we just passed where the stadium was a third
Cohen says it wasn't typical upset Vol fan tweets that made an impact on
the university's key decision makers, but people who don't usually weigh
in on Tennessee athletics.
Several lawmakers voiced their disapproval after reports of the hire
"That says a lot about the not just the situation, but it says a lot
about the University of Tennessee," Cohen said. "They're dependent on
the state of Tennessee government for funding, for approval for building
projects and lots of other things, so when legislators start weighing in
and saying 'this is bad, I'm calling on the University of Tennessee to
not do this,' that's significant.
Cohen also said the allegations that Schiano knew about child abuse by
Jerry Sandusky fueled the social media movement. Even though he was
never officially linked to any wrongdoing, his association with the
program doesn't help.
Vol fans on social media seemed to react mostly to the possible
connection Schiano had to the Sandusky scandal than they did to
Schiano's on-the-field resume.