In a totally unsurprising move, head coach Greg Schiano has denied a report from Pro Football Talk that the voting for team captains was modified. You can read more on my thoughts about the initial report by clicking here.
Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times spoke to Schiano about the report. You can read the details here. But here is a direct quote from Schiano about the voting process:
The players vote. The votes are tabulated by me.
So in other words, even though Schiano denied the allegations, we still don’t know if the rumors of the players questioning the legitimacy of the voting are true.
Schiano completely denies any tampering or changing of votes, but if he’s the only person handling votes, it becomes a “he said, he said” situation. If Schiano is dishonest enough to tamper with the voting process, he’s also dishonest enough to lie to the media about it.
Likewise, “league sources” like the ones quoted in the initial Pro Football Talk article can be unreliable or biased, so at this point the general public has no idea which side to believe.
It’s doubtful that we’ll ever know the full truth of this situation, but the Buccaneers’ locker room is on the verge of a breakdown if there’s a lack of trust with the leadership. And if the team fails to win either of its next two difficult games, an 0-3 team will certainly have even more rumors an allegations surfacing from the locker room.
Winning teams rarely have these sorts of issues and reports. But teams that have split locker rooms and a distrust for coaches also don’t win very often. So it’s a vicious cycle.
The only thing we know for sure is that we haven’t heard the last of this situation.