Former Auburn DT Lee Hunter Says Players Treated 'Like Dogs' Under Brian Harsin

Adam WellsFebruary 4, 2022

Auburn head coach Bryan Harsin talks to an official during the first half of an NCAA college football game against South Carolina, Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)
AP Photo/Sean Rayford

Amid ongoing speculation regarding Bryan Harsin's status as Auburn's head football coach, one former player has opened up about what he experienced playing for the Tigers. 

Defensive tackle Lee Hunter, who transferred to Central Florida last month, wrote about Harsin in an Instagram post on Friday. 

"The reason I chose to leave Auburn because we got treated like we wasn't good enough, and like dogs," Hunter wrote.

Per Nathan King of 247Sports, Hunter's post has been liked by several current and former Auburn football players. 

Hunter's comments come in the wake of multiple key departures from Harsin's coaching staff. 

Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo was fired on Nov. 30. Austin Davis, who was hired as Bobo's replacement on Dec. 18, resigned on Monday for personal reasons. 

Derek Mason announced last month he was leaving the Tigers after spending one season as defensive coordinator. ESPN's Adam Rittenberg reported on Jan. 26 that Mason will take the same position at Oklahoma State. 

Defensive line coach Nick Eason left the program to join Dabo Swinney's staff at Clemson as defensive-run game coordinator and defensive tackles coach. Eason is a Clemson alum and played in 47 games for the program from 1999 to 2002. 

Per Bennett Durando of the Montgomery Advertiser, a total of 19 players from the 2021 Auburn roster have entered the transfer portal. 

Quarterback Bo Nix, who started 34 games over the past three seasons, announced in December he was transferring to Oregon. 

Coming out of National Signing Day on Wednesday, Auburn ranked eighth among SEC schools by 247Sports' composite rankings.  

Despite the recent coach and player turnover, Harsin told ESPN's Chris Low and Pete Thamel he remains committed to the program:

"I'm the Auburn coach, and that's how I'm operating every day. I want this thing to work, and I've told our players and told everybody else there is no Plan B. I'm not planning on going anywhere. This was and is the job. That's why I left the one I was in, to come here and make this place a championship program and leave it better than I found it."

Harsin was hired by Auburn in December 2020 to replace Guz Malzahn as head coach. The 45-year-old was coming off a successful seven-year run as head coach at Boise State where he went 69-19. 

After a 6-2 start under Harsin, the Tigers finished the 2021 season with five consecutive losses. They were competitive in their final three games, losing to South Carolina, Alabama and Houston by a total of 10 points.