AUBURN, Ala. — Former Auburn coach Bryan Harsin released a statement a day after getting fired amid his second season expressing disappointment while praising the team for staying together “in the face of considerable challenges and outside noise.”
Auburn President Chris Roberts fired Harsin after a tenure in which he went 9-12, struggled against Power Five competition – going 4-11 – and faced a university probe into his program after his debut season.
“I am incredibly disappointed that I won’t get to lead the Auburn football program and these players into the future,” Harsin said in his statement. “I poured my heart and soul into this program and team.
“We stood together in the face of considerable challenges and outside noise. Through my entire time at Auburn we did things the right way, which is not always the easy way.”
Running backs coach Carnell Williams will serve as interim coach for the Tigers, who visit Mississippi State. New athletic director John Cohen, whose hiring away from Mississippi State was announced hours after Harsin’s firing, will be searching for a replacement coach.
Harsin will receive a buyout of about $15.5 million from his 6-year, $31.5 million deal.
Harsin said Auburn’s resources and fan base give the Tigers “the potential to be a championship program once again.”
“Like any coach with the benefit of hindsight, there are things that could have been done differently,” Harsin said. “I don’t pretend to be perfect but I am certain I will be better moving forward because of this experience.”
Former athletic director Allen Greene hired Harsin away from Boise State despite his lack of Southeastern Conference experience.
Five players have recently announced intentions to enter the transfer portal, though reserve wide receiver Ze'vian Capers was the first after Harsin’s firing. Auburn has lost its last four games.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama freshman defensive back Tony Mitchell has been suspended from the team following his arrest on a drug charge.
Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said Monday after the first practice of spring that Mitchell was suspended from the team “and all team activities until we gather more information about the situation and what his legal circumstance is.”
The Holmes County Sheriff’s Office arrested Mitchell and another man, Christophere Lewis, last week on a charge of possession of marijuana with the intent to sell or deliver, according to a post on the department’s Facebook page. Lewis also was charged with carrying a concealed gun without a permit.
“Everybody’s got an opportunity to make choices and decisions,” Saban said. “There’s no such thing as being in the wrong place at the wrong time. You’ve gotta be responsible for who you’re with, who you’re around and what you do, who you associate yourself with and the situations that you put yourself in. It is what it is, but there is cause and effect when you make choices and decisions that put you in bad situations.”
Mitchell, who is from Alabaster, Alabama, was a five-star prospect rated the 34th-best player and No. 3 safety in the 247Composite rankings.
Mitchell was driving the vehicle during a traffic stop. After deputies smelled marijuana, Mitchell picked up a baggie of marijuana from the passenger floorboard, according to the department’s Facebook post.
Sheriff’s deputies found “an additional significant amount of marijuana, a set of scales, a loaded handgun between the passenger seat and center console, and a large amount of cash,” according to the department’s Facebook post.
COLUMBIA, Mo. — Missouri linebacker Chad Bailey was suspended from the team after he was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, the team said.
The 23-year-old, who was a team captain last season, was booked at about 2:45 a.m. and released after posting $500 bond, according to online records from the Boone County Sheriff’s Office.
“We are aware of the situation involving Chad Bailey,” Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz said in a statement to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “He’s been suspended according to Department of Athletics policy. We have high expectations for all of our student-athletes, on and off the field, and we will follow all departmental and campus policies.”
Bailey was Mizzou’s third-leading tackler with 57 stops last season. He started all 11 games he played, missing two with an injury. He’ll be a sixth-year senior this fall after opting to return for his final year of eligibility, the Post-Dispatch reported.
The Missouri student-athlete handbook says any athlete who is arrested must serve a minimum one-week suspension.
Bailey was pulled over at about 1 a.m. not far from the Columbia campus for an expired license plate and lane violation, a police statement said. Bailey told the officer he had consumed alcohol and then performed poorly on a field sobriety test, the Post-Dispatch reported.