Brian Harsin never got a chance at Auburn.
According to Rhys Davis, the Tigers did not want him.
The “College GameDay” host, who joined the College GameDay podcast, criticized the way Auburn handled Harsin, who was fired Monday as head coach. Specifically, Davis noted the school’s out-of-season investigation into the program that then-President Jay Gogg had begun after a major change in roster and coaching staff.
“What happened to Brian Harsin in the off-season was a disgrace. I mean, despicable,” Davis said. “You don’t want him? Pay the man his money. You end up doing it anyway. Just say, you know what? We didn’t want this and sent him on his way. Instead, they did something outrageous and unfair. If somehow it doesn’t, but if it somehow proves that they have reasons for it and they can’t prove it, I’ll apologize, but I won’t now. I thought what they did to him was shameful.”
One former player said Harsin treated the team “like dogs,” though others rose to Harsin’s defense. The investigation ended with Gogue saying that “wild speculation” and misinformation was a “madness” surrounding Harsin.
“He stood tall through it,” Davis said. “He did the best he could. They also lost a set of two-digit leads, so he’s not blameless here, but I don’t think he’s risen on the field to be a firefightable offense. They just don’t want him.”
Auburn shot Harsin on Monday after less than two seasons. Harsin went 9-12 overall and 3-5 this year. Auburn lost four straight games while battling his five toughest opponents, including a 41-27 loss to Arkansas on Saturday that proved the final straw.
Auburn will owe Harsin 70 percent of his remaining contract – more than $15 million – and half of that must be paid within 30 days.
Harsin was set away from Boise State in December 2020 and Auburn gave him a six-year deal worth $31.5 million. He never came close to replicating his past success or making the Tigers competitive on the Securities and Exchange Commission, and he failed to keep pace with rivals Georgia and Alabama in the field or in the enlistment path.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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