Home / General / Glorified gym teacher who won $31.5 million lottery apparently plans to burn ticket in ultimate meathead protest

Glorified gym teacher who won $31.5 million lottery apparently plans to burn ticket in ultimate meathead protest


It’s looking that way:

First-year Auburn football coach Bryan Harsin declined to disclose whether he has received a COVID-19 vaccine Monday.

He was asked about his vaccination status in regard to the new policy that was announced Friday, requiring all Auburn University employees to be fully vaccinated by Dec. 8.

Harsin said he is aware of the policy, which stems from an executive order signed by President Joe Biden on Sept. 9, but “it doesn’t change the fact that I’m not going to discuss any individual’s decision or status on the vaccine, or anyone else’s, including my own.”

“From the beginning, I think I’ve made it clear that that wasn’t something that I was going to talk about or discuss,” Harsin said. “I wasn’t going to go down that road and don’t feel like right now that’s any different.”

Getting vaccinated is a “deeply personal decision” dontcha know:

In July at SEC Media Days, Harsin declined to say whether he was vaccinated, calling it a personal choice and emphasizing that he wanted to bring in experts to educate his players on the vaccine. He tested positive for COVID-19 on Aug. 20 and missed 10 days of Auburn’s preseason practices, rejoining the team five days before his first game as head coach.

While he was in quarantine, Harsin held a Zoom press conference in which he stated he is not anti-vaccine but did not share his status.

I’m sure he’s doing his own research.

The numbers involved here are pretty staggering, even by the obscene standards of contemporary college football. The 44-year-old was scraping along at $1.8 million per year at his alma mater Boise State, when Auburn — one of the 20 or so programs near the very tippy top of big time college football — lured him away last December with a five-year $31.5 million contract, not counting copious incentives (Because if there’s one thing somebody with a $31.5 million contract needs is yet more incentives).

70% of the contract is guaranteed, which means Harsin gets a minimum of $22 million out of the deal AS LONG AS HE ISN’T FIRED FOR CAUSE (In what must be an almost incomprehensible paradox to SEC fans, not winning enough games doesn’t count as a valid cause for firing a coach).

Refusing to be vaccinated in the face of a federal mandate — which is why Auburn, which gets a couple of hundred million a year in federal grants, is suddenly putting the hammer down — definitely WOULD qualify as the kind of insubordination that would allow Auburn to get rid Coach Deeply Principled Meathead without paying him another cent of the fortune the university currently owes him (He’s 5-2 in the middle of his first season so it’s not like they would be looking for an excuse to fire him however. Maybe if Bama beats them by 40 or something).

The federal mandate, which Auburn is correctly interpreting as binding on the institution, only allows exceptions for sincerely held religious beliefs and valid medical excuses. Coach DPM has already pretty much blown the former possibility out of the water by his injudicious earlier statement that he’s not anti-vaccine, and doctor’s notes are hard to come by, unless you’re literally Nick Saban.

A few notes:

(1) This is a guy who has won one of the extraordinarily rare grand prizes in the extreme tournament structure that is football coaching in America. There are tens of thousands of football coaches from sea to shining sea, and he has literally one of the best 30 or so jobs in the field — he’s making more than about half of the head coaches in the NFL for crissakes, and he’s currently the 16th highest paid head coach in wonderful world of amateur extra-curricular college activity football.

In other words, this isn’t some hospital worker who quits in protest over Government Tyranny and then gets a very similar job a little while later somewhere in the ungovernable tribal regions. This guy is apparently going to actually light tens of millions of dollars on fire over the Fauci Ouchie!

(2) It’s hard to get a grasp on how insane the right wing in this country has gone. Until 15 minutes ago it would have been considered utterly bizarre by everyone this side of Jenny McCarthy that a college football coach — let alone one that was walking away from tens of millions of dollars — would quit over a vaccine requirement, given that such requirements are ubiquitous at universities, and are or rather were completely uncontroversial (Now of course all vaccine requirements are going to be exemplars of Government Tyranny, that must be resisted as a matter of Principle).

(3) Unless the university’s webpage hasn’t been updated to reflect current policy, it looks to me like my own employer’s vaccine rules are in violation of federal requirements, since that page still features a completely phony “requirement,” that anybody can get out of by simply announcing that they are “personally opposed” to getting the COVID vaccine — no religious or pseudo-scientific mumbo-jumbo required.

(4) I still can’t get over how perverse it is to frame vaccination status as a matter of personal choice. it’s like making drunk driving or spitting into a customer’s Popeye’s Spicy Fried Chicken sandwich a matter of “personal choice.”

(5) If you aren’t depressed enough yet, read this ESPN story about how Washington State head coach Nick Rolovich did his own research before getting axed from his multi-million dollar contract:

WASHINGTON STATE LEADERSHIP became aware of Rolovich’s hesitancy toward COVID vaccines in the spring and for months provided him access to its best resources to help inform his opinion.

On April 21, Rolovich was granted an audience with Dr. Guy Palmer, a world-renowned WSU regents professor of pathology and infectious diseases.

It had been about four months since the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines were both granted emergency-use authorization by the FDA, and athletic director Pat Chun arranged for the meeting to take place.

“As I am a member of the National Academy of Medicine and not affiliated with the athletic department, Pat thought Nick may be more trusting of the information and more comfortable with a dialogue where he could ask specific questions,” Palmer said.

Palmer completed a postdoctoral fellowship in vaccine immunology, leads disease control programs in Africa and Latin America and has been heavily involved in WSU’s COVID-19 testing program and vaccine rollout. He is considered one of the foremost experts on vaccines in the state of Washington.

Over about an hour, Rolovich drove a conversation that focused on topics that were consistent with what Palmer said has been shared by the “anti-vax crowd on social media” over the past several years.

“Kind of typical ones: Is Bill Gates involved with the vaccines? Does [Gates] hold a patent on the vaccines?” Palmer recalled to ESPN. “He asked whether SV40 is in the vaccines and whether that could be a dangerous thing. And the answer to that is no.”

SV40, also known as the simian virus 40, was found to have contaminated polio vaccines in the late 1950s and early 1960s. However, multiple studies — including one from the Institute of Medicine Immunization Safety Review Committee in 2002 — have not found a link between that contamination and any harmful impacts. No vaccines currently contain SV40, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and it’s unclear where Rolovich would have gotten the idea it was present in COVID vaccines.

Oh I don’t think that’s very “unclear” at all.

This country . . .

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