All Signs Point Toward Auburn Retaining Harsin
Per ESPN’s Pete Thamel and Chris Low, Bryan Harsin finally met with those at Auburn University charged with investigating the allegations that have been thrown at him over the course of the past week and a half.
While no resounding answer of whether he stays or goes was determined by the meeting, the school’s decision to have him continue attending to his responsibilities as head coach and to participate in the annual SEC head coach meetings in Birmingham indicate that he is likely to stick around.
In the time since the embattled head coach turned up a goose egg on national signing day, a litany of rumors and allegations have flown around regarding Harsin’s treatment of players and staff as well as some of an extramarital affair with his assistant. Reports of his treatment of staff and players have been conflicting and the rumors about the affair have gone uncorroborated thus far.
Without a real reason to fire Harsin for cause, Auburn would owe him an $18.3 million buyout. ESPN has also reported that the decision will no longer be made by the athletic department and that school board has become frustrated that nothing has been turned up by the inquiry, leaving the once prestigious football program in a state of total uncertainty. Earlier this week, the school went as far as to enact a new policy requiring all staff members to willingly participate in and cooperate with investigations into them. Even this could not produce any of the dirt they were hoping to find.
While the uncertainty regarding Harsin’s tenure at the school will not help improve the recruiting or staffing situation, it is likely better for the school to move forward with Harsin rather than pay him his buyout and try to bring in another head coach after running Harsin through the mud so publicly after just one season. It is unlikely there would be much interest in the position.
Harsin himself has indicated that despite everything that has happened, he would like to return to the school and continue the work he came here to do. It would appear he will get to.
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