Auburn University Football Coach Bryan Harsin addressed the public in a video discussing his views on the Covid vaccine after public and internal pressure.

Harsin could not meet with the public due to his Covid diagnosis last week. He is isolating at home following protocols from a positive test. Harsin was publicly criticized for not disclosing his vaccination status and not promoting public vaccinations in a story that we covered for you here. 

The coach is facing incredible scrutiny before his Covid infection. He was hired to make the Tigers a national contender, replacing fired coach Guz Malzahn who led Auburn to the national title game. Harsin is making 5.2 million dollars. 

Unlike other previous coaching hires, the former Boise State Football Coach is an outsider to the region. He has no ties to the ultra-competitive SEC Football Conference. Harsin was hired by Auburn Athletic Director Allan Greene, formerly of the University of Buffalo. Greene's pick of Harsin was hailed as a welcomed sign of independence from the old money and alumni folks.  

However, those folks will not tolerate the program continuing to fall behind in-state rival Alabama, who just won the national championship under Coach Nick Saban. Greene and Harsin will be shown the door quickly if Auburn doesn't become a playoff contender. Insiders tell us the old money folks are already worried about the lack of improvement in recruiting before Harsin's Covid diagnosis.  

Unlike at Boise State, the Auburn/SEC media cannot be controlled. Reporters and talk show hosts set the narrative. To quote the old intro of the Paul Finebaum Show before going to ESPN:  

Where legends are made, and most football coaches are fired.

Harsin said that no other coaches or players had been infected with Covid. The team's vaccination numbers are improving, but there is still a lot of work to be done. Only in the SEC could vaccination numbers be considered a competitive advantage. Harsin's SEC West Rivals Ole Miss has 100% of its players vaccinated, followed by Alabama with nearly that percent.

Harsin explained his thoughts on Covid during his weekly press conference.

"First, Let me clear I am not anti-vaccine, and any narrative along those lines is misinformed. I fully support the choice of anyone to vaccinate, and I also support getting reliable data-driven information to those that still have questions about the vaccine. Anyone who has been in our facility knows that simple. For months now our staff, has done a great job of going above and beyond and being proactive in providing reliable information to our players, our coaches, our staffs about the vaccine. I've provided an open platform for experts to come in and present information to speak to our players and staff about the vaccine." 

Coach Harsin on Covid

Is Harsin Vaccinated?  Does he have a right to privacy?

Local writers that set the tone in the region argue that the Auburn coach has a duty encourage vaccinations.  You can read their takes on it here and here. Other SEC coaches have embraced vaccine awareness, so far Coach Harsin has not followed their lead.  LSU announced that only fully vaccinated fans will be allowed to attend games.  We wish Coach Harsin a speedy recovery.

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