Auburn’s Bryan Harsin addresses offseason inquiry at SEC Media Days

Auburn coach Bryan Harsin holds his press conference at SEC Media Days in the College Football Hall of Fame on Thursday, July 21, 2022, in Atlanta.   “Curtis Compton / Curtis Compton@ajc.com”

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

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Auburn coach Bryan Harsin holds his press conference at SEC Media Days in the College Football Hall of Fame on Thursday, July 21, 2022, in Atlanta. “Curtis Compton / Curtis Compton@ajc.com”

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Taking the podium at SEC Media Days on Thursday, Auburn coach Bryan Harsin immediately addressed the offseason inquiry he underwent in February, amid an exodus of players and assistant coaches after Harsin’s first season.

“I know some of you out there looking at me didn’t expect me to be here at this time,” Harsin said.

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Per ESPN, the inquiry into Harsin was centered around “the overall volatility in the program and Harsin’s treatment of players and assistant coaches.” Per AL.com, defensive tackle Lee Hunter, who transferred to Central Florida, wrote on Instagram: “Coach Harsin has the true mindset for a winner but a terrible mindset for a person. … We got treated like we weren’t good enough and like dogs.”

“Going back to what happened back in February, what I’m going to do now is address it,” Harsin said Thursday at the College Football Hall of Fame. “Moving forward, that will be the last time I talk about this subject. There was an inquiry. It was uncomfortable. It was unfounded. It presented an opportunity for people to personally attack me, my family, and also our program. And it didn’t work.

“Right now our focus is on moving forward. What came out of that inquiry were a lot of positives. There was a silver lining in all of this. What I saw from our players and our coaches was leadership opportunities for them to step up, which is exactly what they did. You got a chance to see guys provide leadership. You got a chance to see coaches provide leadership. What it did is it united our football team, our players, our staff, our football team. I’m really proud of our guys. I’m proud of what something like that that could be very challenging and difficult for a lot of people, how our guys stepped up and handled it.”

Harsin also addressed the coaches and players who stayed put at Auburn.

“We had coaches and players that could have went to different places, avoided all the adversity and challenges,” Harsin said. “They didn’t could that. They’re here working extremely hard. They’re doing a fantastic job, in my opinion, getting themselves ready to go for this season. That will be the last I talk about that. There’s plenty of interviews on it. If you want any more information on it, just go Google it.”