Bryan Harsin has only served as Auburn’s head football coach for one year, but in that time he has managed to leave quite the impression.
In 2021-22 the Tigers went 6-7 and found themselves mired in various controversies. Players like defensive tackle Lee Hunter ditched the program, only to take shots at Harsin and his way of doing things on the way out.
In addition, Harsin found himself on the wrong side of rumors involving his relationship with pretty young female assistants. It was a mess.
This week, NBA Hall of Famer and Auburn legend Charles Barkley weighed in on the situation.
He appeared on ‘The Next Round’ show and offered his blunt take on Harsin.
“For the people who keep bothering this man…I wish somebody would just slap the hell out of them.” – Auburn legend Charles Barkley had Bryan Harsin’s back when he joined us in studio. @AuburnFootball @CoachHarsin @AGreeneIV @coachbrucepearl pic.twitter.com/ysAZrV6aAk
— The Next Round (@NextRoundLive) July 15, 2022
“I’m a Bryan Harsin fan,” Barkley said.
“This is to all the Auburn people. Leave that man alone and let him do his freaking job. He’s only been there a year. Just leave the man alone and let him do his job. I’m very excited, y’all guys know I love me some Bruce Pearl.
“His son Steven and our entire coaching staff, I love our coaches. I love our AD, Allen Greene. If they let Allen, Bruce and Bryan Harsin do their job, I feel really good about Auburn going forward. For the people who keep bothering this man, I wish somebody would just slap the hell out of them.”
Barkley’s position is understandable. It has only been one year. And Harsin is a guy who won 80 percent of his games at Boise State, so clearly the track record is there.
That said, it’s hard to just forget five straight losses to close out the year, including to the likes of Texas A&M, Mississippi State and South Carolina.
The good news for Harsin is that the cost of buying him out without cause is $18.3 million. Of that total, 70 percent of the money for the five remaining years of his contract is guaranteed.
Harsin will inevitably get another shot. What he will do with it remains to be seen.
Fortunately for him, college football these days is filled with a ton of trainwrecks that will take the attention off him.
Between Hugh Freeze’s unfortunate DMs to a female student, Heisman frontrunners getting outed for their weird sexual fetishes, college coaches landing themselves in regrettable situations with beautiful young blondes, and once-proud schools being accused of playing guys based on racial reasons — it’s one thing after another.
Broncos fans better get used to this. https://t.co/G4V8HYDBiS
— Game 7 (@game7__) July 15, 2022
That should give Harsin substantial cover to operate under the radar, rack up some wins and make folks forget that 2021 ever happened.
If he can’t do that, though. And if history repeats itself in 2022, then not even Barkley’s backing will be able to save him going forward.
A longtime sports reporter, Carlos Garcia has written about some of the biggest and most notable athletic events of the last 5 years. He has been credentialed to cover MLS, NBA and MLB games all over the United States. His work has been published on Fox Sports, Bleacher Report, AOL and the Washington Post.