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Joel Klatt and Clay Travis Are Beefing About Greg Schiano Again

COLUMBUS, OH - OCTOBER 13:  Defensive Coordinator Greg Schiano of the Ohio State Buckeyes pleads a call with the umpire in the second quarter against the Minnesota Gophers at Ohio Stadium on October 13, 2018 in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Greg Schiano got hired by Rutgers again, which naturally meant that Clay Travis and Joel Klatt were going to have a disagreement about the merits of what went down when Travis led the campaign to undo the coach's hiring at Tennesee. Neither of their opinions on the matter are much different than in 2017, and can essentially be summed up here:

The crux of Travis' argument is that Tennessee fans were vilified for getting the administration to change course after they decided to hire Schiano as head coach, but the "mob" tag is not being applied to Rutgers fans who pressured their decision-makers to to go back on their decision to walk away from the bargaining table with Schiano.

Klatt argues that Travis unfairly used allegations from a civil lawsuit that said Schiano was aware of Jerry Sandusky's atrocities while working on the defensive coordinator's staff at Penn State as a trojan horse to block the hire of someone whose football acumen he didn't respect.

My impression is that Klatt and Travis have a unique-to-modern-era relationship where they are friends in real life but don't like each other online. Klatt regularly goes on Travis's Outkick the Coverage radio show. I went back and forth with Klatt on this Schiano issue on my podcast two years ago.

I side closer with Travis here. It will almost certainly never be adjudicated 100 percent as to whether or not Schiano knew about Sandusky. What is undeniable is that before the rap against Sandusky was publicly known, Schiano benefitted from affiliation with him in the way that so many football coaches are helped by being in the "tree" of successful mentors. When Schiano was hired by Rutgers in 2000, Sandusky gave a testimonial on his behalf to Steve Politi and Kimberly Jones of the Newark Star-Ledger (via Lexis Nexis):

Schiano maintained a public affiliation with his mentor, serving as the keynote speaker at an event for Sandusky's Second Mile charity in 2007 (again via Lexis):

Again, none of this proves definitively that Schiano knew about Sandusky, but Travis's extended opinion was that Schiano's problems -- the Sandusky cloud, how he flamed out in Tampa Bay, his general disposition and the way he carries himself -- were not worth it in the ledger compared to his expected upside.

It bears mentioning Schiano's life was not ruined by the Tennessee fiasco as many argued it would be. He's been nothing if not resilient, and now he has an eight-year contract worth tens of millions of dollars to coach Rutgers. In recent years, Tennessee has been far from the elite program it once was, but it remains far ahead of Rutgers in the college football hierarchy. For Rutgers -- where Schiano has already had some success, and which has been the Springfield Tire Fire of a football program before him and since -- the risks are more worth it.