Former Auburn football coach U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn) defended current Auburn coach Bryan Harsin a few days after a 41-12 home loss Saturday to Penn State.
Tuberville told Alabama media members on a press call Wednesday that Auburn so far hasn't played very well and hasn't been consistent, but Harsin "doesn't have his players in there yet." Harsin is currently 8-8 after one full season and three games as head coach at Auburn.
"I've had the opportunity to watch Auburn play a couple of times," Tuberville said. "A lot of this problem has been amassing over the last few years from the previous coaching staff. He doesn't have his players in there yet. They haven't played very well. They haven't been consistent. The advice I'd give him is you're the coach at Auburn. Continue to make your football team better. Don't worry about the noise from the outside…the social media. It's going to be there no matter what you're doing. You've just got to do the best you can. Be the leader on and off the field. Do the best you can and try to continue to motivate these players. The players are what win and lose the games, not the coaches. It's a hard job being a coach, especially in the SEC."
Some sports media members have speculated the loss to Penn State at home Saturday has already put Harsin back on the hot seat for his job. Paul Finebaum, a radio host and ESPN commentator, said after the loss that "the next coach at Auburn is going to understand the SEC, unlike Bryan Harsin."
Auburn's next chance at redemption after the disappointing Penn State loss is against another (2-1) SEC opponent, Missouri, at 11 a.m. Saturday at Auburn on ESPN.
"I think he can work his way through it," Tuberville said. "He's got a game coming up this week in Missouri that I think can be very competitive. He just needs to be supported by the fans from Auburn and give him the opportunity to show what he can do. He's only been in Auburn for a year and less than a half so hopefully, the team will improve and continue to compete and win a lot of games."
Tuberville said he's not for "anybody losing their job before the season is over with."
"Give them that opportunity," Tuberville stated. "They've got a contract. Let them finish it out and at the end of the year, the people in charge need to make a decision. You can't tell about a football season until the end. You never know what's going to happen. As long as your players are working hard, motivated, playing together, I think you should give the opportunity for the coach to show what they can do. One or two games doesn't make a difference. I can't believe we've already had a couple of coaches that have been released at some very powerful schools. Times have changed. Social media, talk shows, opinions…these guys have contracts. Give them the opportunity to improve, to motivate, to get the most and best out of their players. I think that's what we're missing. You've got to remember, too (if) you change a coaching staff, you've pretty much destroyed all those seniors on that football team. You've taken a chance and an opportunity away from them to enjoy their senior year and hopefully have a positive effect."
To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email caleb.taylor@1819News.com.
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