NFL Rumor: Jon Gruden promised ownership of Browns in link with UT

A report out of WREG in Tennessee is circulating which states that former NFL head coach Jon Gruden would receive partial ownership in the Cleveland Browns if he were to take over the vacant coaching job with the Tennessee Volunteers.

Glenn Carver of WREG, the CBS affiliate of Memphis, Tennessee, writes that Jimmy Haslam III’s connection to UT would provide added perks to a contract offer “already in hand.”

“The NFL is looking into the conflict of owning part of one team while getting money from another,” writes Carver. “If NFL ownership is included in Gruden’s deal, it would have to be tailored to conform with NCAA rules.”

Carver is the sports director for WREG. While Gruden has already publically denied any truth to this story, the Browns recently released the following statement:

“Jimmy Haslam has no involvement in the University of Tennessee head coaching search, and the report that Jon Gruden would potentially have an ownership stake in the Browns is completely erroneous.”

Gruden has had two stints as a head coach in the NFL, obtaining a Super Bowl win in 2002 with the Tampa Bay Bucaneers. A resident of Sandusky, Ohio, he has long been linked to the Browns through his ties with former President Mike Holmgren.

[Related: Moving Forward in Berea: Mike Holmgren, legacies and dirty water]

  • mgbode

    Seems ridiculous

  • FearTheRoo

    The report doesn’t even make sense? With the strict NCAA rules a deal like that could never happen. I don’t know what’s worse, the “reporter” for writing this garbage or the station for actually letting him say it.

  • Harv 21

    smoke = fire, baby!
    S’cuse me while I check my go-to source, Strongsville real estate transactions. Gruden Graydon Gridiron Crouton, anything close.

  • maxfnmloans
  • jamindunn

    True or not, who cares? Haslam’s a booster for the Vols. I live in TN. Vol Fans are crazy. One of the reason I was excited about Haslam is because I believe he’ll bring some of that SEC fervor to the Browns. We don’t want Jon Gruden as a head coach regardless. Get us a young, hungry, innovative guy who’s going to be able to mold and motivate this young roster into a winner. That man is not Jon Gruden, or Bill Cowher. Haslam paid 1.whatever billion for the Browns with Haslam family money. If Jimmy’s dad wants part of the family trust to be involved in bringing in a coach for UT, that’s their business. Browns have denied it, and the whole thing sounds ridiculous anyway, but even if it’s true, this has absolutely NO impact on the Browns now or ever so let’s get back to beating the Raiders.

  • MallaLubba

    Gruden denied this on Mike and Mike this morning.

  • Big Z

    Agreed. This doesn’t make sense.