The Great Smoky Mountain Journal
Tuesday, January 01, 2019 02:41 PM
Former UT AD John Currie: UT Fans Are "Wacko"
Following the announcement of the
settlement with John Currie, the University of Tennessee released
correspondence between UT officials that detailed the search for a
On March 22, the University of Tennessee reached a 2.5 million dollar settlement with former athletic director John Currie. Local 8 News partner Volquest reported the university also released documents that show timelines and correspondence during the search for a head coach of UT football.
Emails and text messages between university officials, such as Chancellor Beverly Davenport and Currie, were among the documents released.
Within the messages, Volquest picked some highlights to reveal the timeline of the decision making process.
On Nov. 22, Currie told Davenport that he would not return Board of Trustees head Raja Jubron's call asking for an update on the search. He promised Davenport that he "would deliver," despite putting her in a difficult position.
On Thanksgiving, via a direct message between Jimmy Sexton's assistant, Clint Dowdle, and Currie, a Friday meeting between Currie and Dan Mullen was set up. According to Volquest, Mullen met with Peyton Manning on Friday as well. Mullen sent a message to Currie confirming a meeting for Sunday.
That Saturday, per Volquest and documents, Currie messaged Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy asking him if a Monday meeting would still work to which Gundy replied, "yes." Currie contacted Greg Schiano that same day to see, "if he should still head north."
Currie, according to Volquest, was attempting to get approval from University President Joe DiPietro on Sunday morning. He messaged Davenport at 12:23 a.m. to let her know he had a possible deal in place and was waiting for word from her and the president.
He messaged Davenport several times after that and she responded that the president wanted to talk after 10 a.m. She reportedly told Currie that the president was at mass to which Currie replied, "good. Schiano is a devout Catholic."
Fan outrage at the potential deal with Schiano followed the school and Currie.
The released texts and emails also show correspondence between USA Today Sports columnist Dan Wolken and Currie.
"Gonna need some help on the Pr. Our people are wacko," Currie said to Wolken.
"I'll help. Not sure they'll listen. LOL. I know he's a very good coach and is about the right stuff." Wolken responded in response to Schiano possibly being hired.
On Monday, per Volquest, Currie communicated with Gundy to set up a meeting time. They met briefly in the evening and again on the Nov. 28, the next day.
At around the same time, Currie was also communicating with Dave Doeren's agent and asked at one point if they could pick Doeren up and take him to Phillip Fulmer's house to talk. They eventually ended up meeting in North Carolina instead.
On Nov. 28, Currie informed Doeren's "people" that he was UT's choice. According to Volquest, the two met and Doeren's agent was ready to make a deal when Currie went silent.
Currie, according to documents and Volquest, had reached out to Mike Leach instead. Currie met Leach in LA and was then asked to come back to Tennessee. On Dec. 1, Leach messaged Currie at midnight and said, "I just landed. It was great to meet and talk to you. You’re a good man and I hope you come out of this ok and we can work together.”