Auburn Tigers head football coach Bryan Harsin insisted in August that he was not "anti-vaccine" but hasn't yet said if he is fully vaccinated against COVID-19. As Tom Green noted for AL.com, however, Auburn recently mandated that all university employees must be considered fully vaccinated against the coronavirus by Dec. 8 unless they receive an approved religious or medical exemption.
"I’m aware of the new policy," Harsin explained Monday. "I appreciate you have to ask the question and understand it, but it doesn’t change — I mean, the executive order, all those things, it doesn’t change the fact I’m not going to discuss any individual’s decision or status on the vaccine or anyone else’s, including my own, like I said before."
"From the beginning, I think I’ve made it clear that that wasn’t something that I was going to talk about or discuss. I wasn’t going to go down that road and don’t feel like right now that’s any different. We’re focused on Ole Miss. We’re focused on the things we have to do to get prepared for this week. There’s a lot of other things right now that we have to make sure we’re ready for on this football team. That’s what I’ve got to stay focused on with our players and our staff and the people in this program. So we’ve had those conversations, but that doesn’t change what I said before."
Harsin, in his first season as Auburn head coach, tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of the campaign in August, and he could be fired if he doesn't show he's fully vaccinated by the Dec. 8 deadline. Former Washington State football coach Nick Rolovich is reportedly planning to sue the university after he was dismissed earlier this season for not complying with the school's and state's vaccination mandate.
No. 18 Auburn is 5-2 and has five more regular-season games to play before November ends.