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Arizona State football is in big trouble

Herm Edwards - Arizona State
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Herm Edwards - Arizona State

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

When Arizona State hired 63-year-old Herm Edwards to replace Todd Graham in Tempe plenty of folks mocked the move.

The former head coach of the New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs had been out of football entirely since 2008 before the Sun Devils came calling in December 2017. Edwards had not been in the college game since 1989 and had no real evidence that he would succeed in the Power Five.

For a time, it looked like the naysayers were very off base.

The Sun Devils went 17-13 in his first three seasons with some promising national recruiting success. The program nabbed top-50 quarterback Jayden Daniels out of Southern California while also having some national success in Florida, Philadelphia, New York City, Texas, Ohio, St. Louis, and Metro Atlanta.

Turns out, there may have been a reason for that.

On Wednesday, Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports reported that the NCAA is investigating Arizona State for recruiting violations after an anonymous person sent multiple documents to the Arizona State athletic department. Everything from pictures and emails could lead to a plethora of NCAA violations.

“The documentation includes specific evidence of multiple examples of high school prospects taking illicit on-campus recruiting trips to the Arizona State campus,” writes Thamel. “Those came during the pandemic-inspired dead period that ended June 1. For more than a year prior, NCAA rules explicitly banned players from visiting on campus because of COVID-19. The dossier, according to sources, lays out pieces of both the players’ trips to campus and how those trips were paid for.”

Edwards and assistant coach Antonio Pierce were just running wild during the COVID-19 pause. The Sun Devils were hosting prospects and their families on both unofficial and official visits when all in-person recruiting was banned by the NCAA. Arizona State may have even been paying for the visits. Edwards was posing for pictures with these high school athletes while they were on campus. Meanwhile, the entire football staff knew about these visits and it made things very uncomfortable in the office. Turns out, someone on the staff may have released the information.

“It’s clear whoever provided it had a ton of access and knowledge of the football program,” a source told Thamel. “The stuff in there wouldn’t be provided by anyone outside the football program.”

Over the last couple of seasons, Arizona State has had its fair share of staff turnover. As Pierce has climbed up the ladder, it has alienated many in the football building. Recruiting meant everything to the Sun Devils, but it is clear that they have crossed the line.

All of this happened while the program seemingly had zero success in its backyard. In the class of 2021, the state of Arizona produced seven blue-chip prospects and the Sun Devils signed none of them. Most of their recruiting success was happening with a national approach. Meanwhile, the program had 10 decommitments in the class. For 2022, the Sun Devils have three four-star verbal commitments — those players come from California and South Florida.

How the NCAA decides to handle this will be very interesting to follow. Arizona State essentially had a major competitive advantage over everyone else as all other programs had to recruit using Zoom only. Meanwhile, Edwards went all-in on cheating while some on his staff felt uncomfortable with what was going on.

This goes as a lesson to all of us. When a program starts to have national recruiting success while having seemingly zero luck in their state, there might be something fishy going on. Seems like those naysayers are going to end up being right regarding Arizona State’s hire of Edwards.

The summer usually delivers one good football recruiting rules violation. Arizona State comes through for us in June.

[Yahoo Sports]

Article written by Adam Luckett

Twitter: @AdamLuckettKSR

18 Comments for Arizona State football is in big trouble



  1. jaws2
    12:25 pm June 19, 2021 Permalink

    No doubt this will be called ‘racist’ in 3,2,1……….



    • We are back baby!
      12:45 pm June 19, 2021 Permalink

      How so?



    • shepdog3720
      1:31 pm June 19, 2021 Permalink

      jaws2, this might be one of the dumbest posts…EVER



    • nocode96
      1:43 pm June 19, 2021 Permalink

      Dumb comment of the day. Congrats on that jaws.



    • bjtitzandgolf
      2:17 pm June 19, 2021 Permalink

      Probably be better off keeping your Jaws shut



    • satcheluk
      3:24 pm June 19, 2021 Permalink

      Throw doth protest to much. Your projection is showing.



    • wesmorgan1
      5:10 pm June 19, 2021 Permalink

      annnnnnd…..there it is – the dumbest thing I’ll read all day.



    • Thetruthshallsetbennyfree
      7:04 pm June 19, 2021 Permalink

      Jaws just proved when he complains about someone calling something racist his words mean nothing because he doesn’t know what racism is.



  2. zoupman
    1:59 pm June 19, 2021 Permalink

    NCAA will screw it up. They still haven’t punished Lou from things getting close to a decade ago.



  3. IndianaSucks
    2:19 pm June 19, 2021 Permalink

    Campus visits during covid? Thought it’d be a little more juicy then that. Meh



  4. dukeisking
    3:22 pm June 19, 2021 Permalink

    Jaws2 is the winner of the stupid comment of the day award.



  5. WiseSerpent
    3:55 pm June 19, 2021 Permalink

    Hopefully all parties wore their precious masks during the campus visits. If not, it could mean triple probation.



  6. TBW3011
    4:55 pm June 19, 2021 Permalink

    Bad look for Edwards considering how much he preaches about honesty, accountability and doing things the right way. The nature of violations by themselves don’t particularly bother me. Him being a total hypocrite and apparent fraud does.



  7. BlueBanker18
    5:03 pm June 19, 2021 Permalink

    I honestly wouldn’t care if the NCAA let this one go like they have with other violations. Those kids were in absolutely zero danger by taking those in person visits, and the science backs that. (BuT mUh OUtliErs!)



    • wesmorgan1
      5:18 pm June 19, 2021 Permalink

      You should investigate the effects of myocarditis in athletes. Even before COVID, myocarditits accounted for roughly 10% of sudden cardiac deaths among athletes. (Remember Hank Gathers?) Myocarditits is one of COVID’s side effects, as quite a few collegiate athletes have learned…and even asymptomatic cases of COVID can still trigger myocarditits. Search for Demi Washington of Vanderbilt women’s hoops for a typical experience among those athletes; it definitely isn’t “absolutely zero danger”.



  8. lribookend
    5:23 pm June 19, 2021 Permalink

    If you have to cheat to win, you are not a winner. You are a loser. And to give a little support to Jaws2, it doesn’t take much these days for someone to scream “racism”, whether it is valid or not.



  9. LittleBoyBlue
    7:50 pm June 19, 2021 Permalink

    You play to win the game. Sometimes you pay too.