Auburn head coach Bryan Harsin faced criticism early in his brief tenure after his team struggled to reach the 85 percent COVID-19 vaccination threshold enacted by the SEC. Those voices grew louder after he himself tested positive for the virus, leading him to declare that he was not against the vaccine but wanted to provide players the information they need to make the decision on their own.

Several Tigers players, including linebacker Owen Pappoe, participated in Instagram PSAs through the Alabama Department of Public Health’s KICK COVID campaign urging college football fans within the state to get the vaccine, doing so through a NIL agreement.

Why was it important for Pappoe to take part?

“[I’m] just trying to put the message out there that we love seeing the stadium full,” said Pappoe, according to’s Tom Green. “We don’t want to have a breakout or something like that on campus and they come tell us in a team meeting that we can’t have full capacity anymore…That was the big thing for me, man, just being able to go and see the stadium stay packed all the time.”

Auburn travels to Penn State on Saturday.