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Rumor Mill: Chucky Top?


The Killer B's on ESPN 1470 are reporting from an unspecified East Tennessee source that my beloved Tennessee Volunteers are going to make a run at Jon Gruden of my beloved Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the tune of $5 million per season.  I LOL'd at that one for a while, not because John Gruden doesn't have the stuff to right the Big Orange ship, but because I don't see Tennessee dishing out that kind of moolah when it's currently completing renovations to the stadium, continually raising ticket prices to fund improvements, renovating Thompson-Boling arena (home of the BasketVols), building a new practice facility, and paying off Coach Fulmer and some of his staff.  I have no doubts that John Gruden's name will be tied to the Tennessee job until they name a successor, even if John denies interest in the job (due to the Nick Saban effect from 2 years ago).  That said... there has to be at least a little concern for Bucs fans (except from the haters) that John Gruden would be intrigued by the Tennessee job.  He's achieved the ultimate high here in January 2003.  It's hard to stay on top in the NFL, especially in a division where last place becomes first place, and vice versa.  There's been rampant speculation about his job security for years now, where he'll get a grace period in Knoxville to implement his players, coaches, and system.  Ultimately, I think he's a perfect fit in Tampa and stays with the Bucs.  He seems happy here.  Even though his wife is a Vol alum from East Tennessee, he's got kids in school here.   The UT job wouldn't pay that much more than he's making now, if anything.  I seriously doubt he pulls a Petrino in midseason, and UT will likely want to find their successor right away to avoid missing a beat in recruiting.  I just hope the rumors don't become a distraction as the team hits the playoff stretch run.   More as I read/hear it later...

UPDATE (11/10)... Gruden dispels the Tennessee rumors..... sort of.  Not the most "get outta town guys, I have no interest in the Tennessee job" kind of forceful answer, but supportive of staying, at least.