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The ongoing saga at Auburn continued on Thursday morning when head coach Bryan Harsin arrived in Birmingham for the scheduled SEC football coaches meeting. This meeting has been on the books for a while, so it’s not surprising that Auburn would be represented.
Harsin returned from vacation late Wednesday night and made the quick drive north to Birmingham for the meeting. Now, this is not some type of big news maker meeting, as the conference usually just goes over new rules and discusses the latest hot topics.
Bryan Harsin has arrived at SEC HQ for coaches meetings today. (Trust me that’s the back of his head) pic.twitter.com/m6gxKOD7sw
— Alex Scarborough (@AlexS_ESPN) February 10, 2022
The situation is so crazy that Harsin came in through the side entrance since several local television crews had set up around the perimeter of the SEC office, looking for a shot of the Auburn coach.
This is truly some next level gamesmanship by Harsin. As long as he’s the coach for Auburn, he should go about his day as normal. Even with all the ongoing drama, this is the best avenue for Harsin, as, I can promise you, his lawyers told him repeatedly.
On Wednesday night, I wrote about the public relations nightmare that this is causing the school, but the school also did something to keep Harsin talking. The university uploaded a new policy to the compliance database, and it went into effect on Tuesday, February 8th. This policy states that all employees must cooperate in school investigations and inquiries. If an employee does not cooperate, his contract could be terminated for cause.
This rule seems to have been established because, according to multiple sources, Harsin has not been fully cooperative so far. He even allegedly extended his vacation time while this investigation was continuing. But, he’s back now, so we will see what his lawyers advise him to do and say.
Here is video of Harsin leaving the SEC offices this afternoon, weaving his way around vehicle, as reporters look for comment.
NEW VIDEO: I asked Bryan Harsin as he left the SEC coaches meeting if he planned to coach at Auburn next season.
No answer. @WBRCnews pic.twitter.com/MVXJucKHRC
— Lynden Blake (@LyndenBlake) February 10, 2022
On another note, it is kind of interesting that Lane Kiffin and Jimbo Fisher are in the same room for the first time since their press conferences last week, where they subtly went after each other over NIL statements. I imagine the conversations will be entertaining for some, especially when the subject of Name, Image, and Likeness is broached.
We will see what happens with Auburn moving forward, but Harsin was just doing his job by showing up in Birmingham today. One thing it did make clear is that the school isn’t done with this public relations nightmare, and it might take a bit to complete.