Harsin struggled in his first year as Auburn coach, with the Tigers finishing 6–7, the program’s first season below .500 since 2012. That’s concerning, but perhaps way more concerning is the fact that 20 players and five assistant coaches are leaving the program, per ESPN.
One former player said recently that he left because they were treated “like dogs” and there have been other sources discussing Harsin’s improper treatment of players and assistants. There are also some salacious rumors circulating regarding Harsin’s relationship with a staffer, though that remains unsubstantiated gossip for the time being.
For his part, Harsin says that he wants to be the head coach and he won’t stand for any character assassination.
“Any attack on my character is bullsh**,” Harsin said. “None of that is who I am.”
“Certainly, I’m the right man for the job. There’s no doubt about it. No one is going to have a better plan than I do, but we’ve got to change some things. This place is not going to be a championship program until we change some things. You’ve got to let the head coach be the head coach and support him.”
In the face of all this scrutiny, Auburn President Jay Gogue was asked about the situation and his response was decidedly not a vote of confidence.
Auburn president Jay Gogue: “I just want you to know we’re involved in trying to separate fact from fiction. We’ll keep you posted and make the appropriate decision at the right time.”
— Tom Green (@Tomas_Verde) February 4, 2022
“I just want you to know we’re involved in trying to separate fact from fiction. We’ll keep you posted and make the appropriate decision at the right time,” Gogue said, per Tom Green of AL.com.
Gogue’s statement lends a lot of credence to the ESPN report that “upper administration officials at Auburn, including executive vice president and chief operating officer Lt. Gen. Ron Burgess, have conducted interviews with some of the people exiting” and are considering next steps.
Naturally, as we wait for more details and a decision, the college football world is in full reaction mode.
I just want you to know that our lawyers are still working on establishing cause. https://t.co/7IeDhqElsh
— Parker Gabriel (@HuskerExtraPG) February 4, 2022
woooo buddy https://t.co/kt4sjS2NCl
— PodKATT (@valleyshook) February 4, 2022
Due process is an important thing, and we’ve lost sight of that as a culture, which is a shame.
But … dragging this out won’t help anyone. https://t.co/ZGsoojaTxZ
— Wes Rucker (@wesrucker247) February 4, 2022
Not trying to over-analyze here but the president saying there is a "decision" to be made feels a little ominous. https://t.co/MlNDxLKTKw
— Ralph D. Russo (@ralphDrussoAP) February 4, 2022
That is, uhh, not exactly a vote of confidence! https://t.co/GGxJRsYNKk
— Richard🇬🇾Johnson (@RJ_Writes) February 4, 2022
I would think there being a “decision” to make at all doesn’t bode well for Harsin. https://t.co/1HEdDLRpT7
— Mark Ennis (@MarkEnnis) February 4, 2022
As many have noted, the fact that a decision needs to be made, one way or another, doesn’t bode well. We’ll likely find out what comes of all this very soon and the latest saga surrounding Auburn’s head coach concludes.