Auburn still examining Bryan Harsin’s handling of football program

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AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn’s examination of football coach Bryan Harsin continues.

The university is looking into Harsin’s program, which has lost 18 players and five assistant coaches since the end of his first season in which the team finished with a 6-7 record.

Harsin maintained in an interview late last week that he’s “not planning on going anywhere.” Auburn released a statement addressing the situation.

“The Auburn administration is judiciously collecting information from a variety of perspectives, including our student-athletes, and moving swiftly to understand any issues in accordance with university policies and procedures,” the statement said.

“Decisions regarding the future of Auburn and its athletics programs, as always, are made in the interests of our great university and in fairness to all concerned. We do not make institutional decisions based on social media posts or media headlines.”

Harsin arrived at Auburn after being was hired away from Boise State in December 2020.

Last week, recently hired offensive coordinator Austin Davis announced he was resigning for personal reasons after replacing a fired Mike Bobo. In January, defensive coordinator Derek Mason left for Oklahoma State.

Central Florida defensive tackle Lee Hunter, among the players who left the program, made a social media post criticizing Harsin’s handling of players.

“Coach Harsin has the true mindset for a winner but has a terrible mindset as a person,” Hunter wrote on Instagram. “The reason I chose to leave auburn (was) because we got treated like we wasn’t good enough and like dogs.”

Other Auburn players rose to his defense, and Harsin told ESPN: “None of that is who I am.”

Harsin’s contract runs through the 2026 season and averages $5.25 million per season. If he is fired without cause, Auburn would owe Harsin 70% of the remaining value of the deal, or about $18 million.

Harsin replaced Gus Malzahn, who was fired after last season and received a buyout of $21.45 million.