Bruce Pearl would have never commented on a lack of alignment in the manner disgraced former Auburn football head coach Bryan Harsin did — this, at least, according to Opelika-Auburn News editor Justin Lee.
“Harsin said Auburn’s ‘alignment’ is poor, but obviously that’s foolish,” Lee prefaced before saying, “Pearl has fine alignment behind his program, because he’s a good salesman and a winning coach. If Freeze doesn’t have the guns to win yet, he’ll want to be that salesman. Bruce would not have said that, Year 1, Year 0, Year anything.”
Harsin couldn’t even be referred to as a snake oil salesman since salesmen are some of the hardest-working professionals around. Even those selling fool’s gold pitch their product to prospects. Recruits from formerly critical in-state pipelines were never visited, and thus, never knew what AU even had to offer. Not that Harsin was the best, or even anything close to it, at being a messenger on behalf of the Plains.
Bruce Pearl was the face of AU athletics as disgraced ex-Auburn football head coach Bryan Harsin floundered for two years
Pearl and Harsin had a good relationship as far as anyone can tell, with both coaches visiting the other’s program during home games. In truth, Pearl had no reason to be upset at the Boise native; since Auburn basketball was the saving grace for the Plains, along with an elite Jeff Graba-coached gymnastics program, during Harsin’s two failed seasons at the helm of the football team.
Pearl’s program was always in the mix for top prospects during that time, while Harsin tanked the blue-chip ratio that Gus Malzahn worked hard to boost during his successful, if by the end, stagnant, Auburn football tenure.
Hugh Freeze has AU back in the mix for most of the regional stars on the recruiting trail, but the on-field product still seems set to suffer in the short term after years of under-recruitment from a Harsin-led coaching staff that failed to come close to living up to any expectations.