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USA TODAY Sportswriter Addresses Controversial Text Messages

Three footballs next to a pylon

(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

On Thursday, Tennessee wrapped up its settlement with former athletic director John Currie to the tune of $2.5 million, half of his scheduled buyout. With the settlement in the rearview, a host of Currie's documents from when he was in office were passed around social media.

Those documents include text exchanges with a national reporter, among other things. Currie spoke with Dan Wolken of the USA Today, around the time Currie decided to hire Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano as Tennessee's head coach.

Currie, sensing Tennessee fans might not be happy with the hire, asked Wolken to respond favorably to Schiano's hire. Here's the text exchange.

Currie suggests to Wolken that he'll need help spinning the story. "Gonna need some help on the Pr. Our people are wacko," Currie said. To which Wolken responded, "I’ll help. Not sure they’ll listen. LOL. I know he a very good coach and is about the right stuff." Wolken has been tweeted at non-stop by Tennessee and other fans today, asking for comment. He says he will not be addressing it.

We all know how this story ended. Tennessee fans revolted and the Schiano hire was wiped off the books.

Currie was officially let go by the university at 6:00 p.m. ET on Thursday. However, his employment was terminated long before that. Currie was suspended on Dec. 1 after making an unapproved trip to Los Angeles to interview Washington State coach Mike Leach, whom the team also didn't hire.

After Currie's dismissal, the school hired former Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt as the team's head coach.