Read Auburn president Jay Gogue's letter on investigation of football coach Bryan Harsin
AUBURN — After a week-long investigation into Auburn football coach Bryan Harsin's program, Auburn president Jay Gogue released a letter Friday addressing the review process and announcing that Harsin will remain the coach.
On Feb. 4, players publicly went back and forth on social media discussing the coach's harsh mentality. The same day, the Advertiser reported examples of Harsin developing a divisive culture in which a number of players and staff members felt alienated.
Here's what Gogue wrote in his letter Friday:
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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 fact-finding 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 program.
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 decision-making 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’ on- and 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 family.
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 today.
President Jay Gogue
This article originally appeared on Montgomery Advertiser: Bryan Harsin: Read Jay Gogue letter on Auburn football coach