It now stands to get a whole lot worse.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, Schiano “rigged” the outcome of the team’s recent election so Freeman would not earn a captain spot.
Predictably, Schiano denied these claims, saying they’re “100 percent false.” However, another report suggests that, during a players-only meeting, “the legitimacy of the captain’s vote might have been on the agenda.”
It was reported last Saturday, one day before the season opener, that Freeman was “stripped” of the honor after three years, with Schiano doing his best to quell potential criticism. Looks like that didn’t work out too well.
Whether Schiano did rig votes is almost immaterial. As the Times points out, this is yet “another tear in the already-frayed relationship” between Schiano and Freeman, and it seems the two simply can’t coexist.
Freeman was a draft pick of a previous regime; Schiano has absolutely no ties or loyalty to him. That became evident in April, when the Bucs burned a third-round pick on quarterback Mike Glennon, officially putting Freeman on notice.
If there’s any shred of legitimacy to this story, it’s an awful look for the franchise, and almost guarantees Schiano a place on the hot seat.