Auburn University head football coach Bryan Harsin refused to disclose his vaccination status on Monday, days after the school announced that all university employees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by December 8.
Harsin has refused to reveal his vaccination status since as far back as July.
“I’m aware of the new policy and appreciate you have to ask the question and understand it, but it doesn’t change — the executive order and all those things — that I’m not going to discuss any individual’s decision or status on the vaccine or anyone else’s, including my own,” Harsin said, according to ESPN. “From the beginning, I think I’ve made it clear that wasn’t something I was going to talk about or discuss and wasn’t going to go down that road. I don’t feel like right now that’s any different.”
Auburn has won three of their last four games, and they will next face Ole Miss on Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
“We’re focused on Ole Miss. We’re focused on the things we have to do to get prepared for this week,” Harsin said. “… We’ve had those conversations [about the vaccine], but that doesn’t change what I’ve said before.”
Harsin tested positive for COVID-19 back in August, and he spoke out at the time to say that he was not “anti-vaccine” and that any narrative along those lines was “misinformed.”
“I fully support the choice for anyone to vaccinate and I also support getting reliable data-driven information into the hands of those who still have questions about the vaccine,” Harsin said. “Anyone who has been in our facility knows that.”
This comes after Washington State University fired head football coach Nick Rolovich and four of his assistants for refusing to abide by the vaccine mandate.
“The noncompliance with this requirement renders [Rolovich] ineligible to be employed at Washington State University and therefore can no longer fulfill the duties as a head coach of our football program effective immediately,” Washington State athletic director Pat Chun said of Rolovich. “It is disheartening to be here today. Our football team is hurting. Our WSU community is fractured. Today will have a lasting impact on the young men on our team and the remaining coaches and staff.”
Rolovich has since said that he will be taking legal action against the school for his firing. Unfortunately, millions of Americans will be able to relate to being forced to choose between the vaccine and their jobs.