Auburn releases statements from President Jay Gogue, Bryan Harsin about status of football program
Auburn President Jay Gogue has released a lengthy statement updating the status of the football program and coach Bryan Harsin following a week-long inquiry and turmoil that centered on Harsin’s status.
Gogue called it an “evaluation of concerns” after the program saw some 18 players transfer, and 5 assistant coaches leave the program in recent weeks.
“I am equally pleased to confirm that Bryan Harsin remains our head football coach,” Gogue said in a statement.
Harsin described it as one of the hardest weeks of his career, and it had nothing to do with his coaching ability.
“I’m proud to be your head coach,” Harsin said in his statement.
Here is the statement:
President Jay Gogue updates the Auburn Family on the football program review, Coach Bryan
Harsin provides statement
Dear Auburn Family,
I am pleased to report that the evaluation of concerns raised regarding our football program is
complete. I am equally pleased to confirm that Bryan Harsin remains our head football coach.
As an institution of higher education, Auburn will always take the action necessary to ensure
the well-being of its students, faculty, and staff. Recently, individuals raised concerns to my
administration about the football program. The nature of these concerns compelled a factfinding review. To do nothing would have been an abdication of the university’s responsibilities.
Over the past week, my administration conducted that review. It included meetings and
interviews with current and former football coaching and administrative staff, numerous
players, university administrators and other individuals who offered perspective on the issues
that had been raised. To be clear, this process, which was never individual- or outcome-specific,
did not yield information that should change the status of our coaching staff or football
All should understand that in matters such as these the roles of the university administration
and the Board of Trustees are distinct and separate. To be very specific, the decisions made
were mine alone as the president. The Board played no role in the fact-finding or the decisionmaking process.
Specific to Coach Harsin, he was completely cooperative throughout this inquiry and is equally
eager to consider and address any identified issues head-on. My most recent conversations
with Coach Harsin have me as convinced as ever in his commitment to our student-athletes’ onand off-field success and his vision for our program. We are equally committed to providing
him the necessary means to achieve that goal.
Unfortunately, social media fueled wild speculation, substantial misinformation and unfair
attacks on good Auburn people. A feeding frenzy resulted that was beyond anyone’s control.
We regret the concern, anger, frustration or hurt that this caused any member of the Auburn
I know the past week has been an incredibly trying time for Coach Harsin, his family and many
others. Personal and intentional attacks have been publicly levied, almost all of them
anonymous, without regard for their resulting, real-world ramifications. Auburn never has —
and I hope never will — legitimize reckless rumors or innuendo with public comment. While
Coach Harsin understands some level of public criticism comes with the job, what he and his
family have endured this past week was beyond the pale. We regret the concern and anxiety
this situation caused the Harsin family and the others involved.
Let me be clear — our university, the administration and the entire Board of Trustees stand
behind Coach Harsin and are ready to help him succeed as the leader of our football program. It
is my hope and expectation that the entire Auburn Family will join us in uniting behind Coach
Harsin. With that support, I have no doubt that Auburn Football’s best days are ahead.
Every man and woman who bleeds orange and blue is treasured at Auburn. While families
quarrel and disagree from time to time, we end up remembering what brings us together as
one – a love for our great university. Our university has never been stronger whether it be
academics, student achievement, financial stability and, yes, athletics. We applaud everyone
who provides dedication, loyalty and hard work to make Auburn the truly great university it is
President Jay Gogue
Statement from Auburn Head Football Coach Bryan Harsin
This has been one of the hardest weeks of my career and it had nothing to do with my coaching
ability. The personal attacks on me and my family went too far and were without justification.
Their resolve through this experience has been incredible but also completely expected. We saw
and felt the worst of the worst in some people. Fortunately, we also saw the best of the best in
others and we will always be grateful for the support of so many through a very difficult time –
our players, staff, the Auburn family, and many others.
I know who I am as a husband, father and football coach and cooperated fully throughout this
process. I believe that every challenge in life is an opportunity to grow and learn. This is no
different. Every day we’re not moving forward together is a step in the wrong direction. In order
for us to take the Auburn program where we all want it to go we must, at all levels, commit to
each other and this great university that we all love. I’m confident we can get there under the
leadership of Dr. Gogue, incoming President Roberts, Allen Greene, and our Board of Trustees.
I’m proud to be your head coach and appreciate the opportunity to lead the incredible group of
young men in our locker room. War Eagle!