Preparing Educators as Leaders
  • Home
  • Tennessee coaching offer controversy demonstrates power of fans, social media in sport

Tennessee coaching offer controversy demonstrates power of fans, social media in sport

Monday, November 27, 2017

LAWRENCE — The University of Tennessee will not hire Greg Schiano as its next football coach after originally announcing the hire, following a wave of backlash for his alleged role in the child sex abuse scandal at Penn State University, according to multiple reports. Responses to the announcement came from social media, fans of Tennessee’s program and state lawmakers as well. The response and subsequent decision to rescind a job offer are illustrations of the power fans and stakeholders have in the world of sports, a University of Kansas researcher said.

Jordan Bass, assistant professor of health, sport & exercise science at KU, is available to discuss the Schiano situation with media. Bass has published research on the role of fans and social media in the business of sport and studied “forced crowdsourcing” via social media. He can discuss Schiano and the Tennessee coaching offer, social media’s role in sport, fan influence, the business of sport, coach firings and discipline, and related topics.

Schiano was an assistant coach to Joe Paterno at Penn State from 1990 to 1995 and was linked to the child sexual abuse scandal of fellow assistant Jerry Sandusky. Depositions in the case claim Schiano had witnessed Sandusky abusing children. Schiano has stated he was not aware of the abuse. But the backlash and Tennessee’s subsequent decision not to hire Schiano are illustrations of the role fans can play in decision making in large sporting organizations, Bass said.

To schedule an interview, contact Mike Krings at 785-864-8860 or mkrings@ku.edu.


10th among public universities for its master’s and doctoral programs
—U.S. News & World Report
#1 public program in nation for special education
—U.S. News & World Report
Assists public schools and other partners in all 105 Kansas counties
$938,377 in scholarship funds awarded to 420+ students
Research expenditures of $36,804,773 for 2011-12
Research from KU’s largest grant, the $24.5 million SWIFT project, assists educators, children, and families across the United States
The award-winning special education faculty published 140 refereed articles, 11 books, and 60 chapters in 2015-16
Students with intellectual disabilities are participating in KU undergraduate programs through a grant-funded KU special education program
Researchers on a $3.5 million grant are collecting data on an innovative reading program designed to teach reading to students with the most significant disabilities in seven Kansas school districts
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
KU Today
Connect with KU School of Education

KU School of Education Facebook page KU School of Education YouTube Channel KU School of Education Twitter Feed KU School of Ed instagram icon