CLEVELAND - The Browns have issued a statement calling a report about current Monday Night Football broadcaster John Gruden getting a stake of the team's ownership "erroneous."
A report by WREG-TV in Memphis that has spread Wednesday morning has Gruden being named the University of Tennessee head football coach and a piece of the Browns used as a luring element.
"Part of the offer is Gruden getting a piece of the NFL's Cleveland Browns, who were recently bought by Jimmy Haslam III, one of UT's biggest boosters," the station alleges.
The Browns definitively refuted that rumor.
"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," Browns Vice President of Media Relations Neal Gulkis said in a statement.
Gruden's name has been bandied about for a number of open college football coaching positions and potential NFL vacancies, including as a prospect for the Browns if Pat Shurmur is not retained.