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Auburn head football coach Bryan Harsin addressed the offseason investigation into his program on Thursday, calling the inquiry “uncomfortable” and “unfounded.”
The investigation by Auburn University occurred after 18 players and five assistant coaches left the program following Harsin’s first season as head coach.
Head coach Bryan Harsin of the Auburn Tigers during their game against the Mississippi Rebels at Jordan-Hare Stadium on Oct. 30, 2021, in Auburn, Alabama. (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images)
“Moving forward, that will be the last time I talk about this subject,” Harsin said on Thursday at the SEC Media Days. “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.”
Auburn began the 2021 college football season 6-2 but struggled down the stretch, losing the last five games of the season, including losses to unranked Mississippi State and South Carolina.
Auburn head coach Bryan Harsin speaks during NCAA college football Southeastern Conference Media Days, Thursday, July 21, 2022, in Atlanta. ( AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Some Auburn players hopped on social media after the season to criticize Harsin’s coaching methods, leading to speculation that Harsin would not return as the head football coach. After an investigation, Auburn announced that Harsin would be retained as head coach on Feb. 11.
“Right now our focus is on moving forward,” Harsin said Thursday, according to 247 Sports. “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.
Auburn head coach Bryan Harsin speaks during NCAA college football Southeastern Conference Media Days, Thursday, July 21, 2022, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
“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.”
While Auburn did finish the 2021 season on a sour note, the Tigers came close to upsetting Alabama in the Iron Bowl, losing to the Crimson Tide in four overtimes.
Auburn opens the season on Sept. 3 at home against Mercer.
Joe Morgan is a Sports Reporter for Fox News.