NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Republican gubernatorial candidate Diane Black received a phone call from prominent University of Tennessee football booster Jimmy Haslam, the brother of Gov. Bill Haslam and owner of the Cleveland Browns, after she posted a tweet bemoaning the school’s first choice to become the school’s next football coach.
Bill Haslam has told reporters that his brother had no role in the effort to hire Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano — a deal that fell through amid public backlash over an unproven claim in court documents that he might have known about sexual abuse of boys when he was an assistant at Penn State.
Black’s campaign confirmed the call but wouldn’t elaborate about what was discussed. A Haslam spokeswoman called it “a private conversation” and declined to comment further.