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In the last two months, the ASU football program has slowly been depleted. The Sun Devils’ coaching staff has been shuffled out, all the while the team’s quarterback, Jayden Daniels, entered the transfer portal.
For the first time since the team lost its quarterback and replaced both its coordinators, university president Dr. Michael Crow spoke about the state of the program on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.
Crow said he believes in ASU head coach Herm Edwards, and that Edwards didn’t take part in the alleged recruiting allegations.
“Coach Edwards has done an outstanding job of upgrading our overall program,” Crow said on 98.7 FM. “Coach Edwards is responsible for the actions of all of his people, but these are not things that he asked them to do. These are not things that he was a part of.”
The ongoing NCAA investigation into ASU’s alleged recruiting allegations led to the resignations and replacements of former coordinators Zak Hill and Antonio Pierce.
Even so, coach Edwards remains at the helm of the football program.
Crow said Edwards has upgraded the football program as a whole. However, the numbers directly conflict that statement.
In his time as head coach, Edwards has never produced a 10-win team. Former coach Todd Graham had two. Edwards has never coached an ASU team that ranked higher than 17 in the AP Top 25; Graham coached three teams ranking 15 or better.
While president Crow said Edwards has improved ASU football, the reality is that Edwards has kept the program average. Not to mention, the current NCAA investigation that continues to embarrass the other sports programs in Tempe.
“In all of these things where you have people who decide not to play by the rules those people are gone, now we’re looking at what went wrong and why that happened and so forth so we’re still in the thick of that,” Crow said.
While the NCAA investigation remains ongoing, this is the first time Crow has said Edwards didn’t participate in any violations. With that in mind, SunDevil Source reported that ASU is already aware of Edwards’ direct participation in the violations.
As the viral fallout from the investigation continues to run its course through the veins of ASU’s football program, athletic director Ray Anderson said he has faith in Edwards.
“We still have lots of confidence that this program is still going to accomplish some things,” Anderson said Wednesday. “Yes, we acknowledge we’ve had some struggles, but overall we advanced the program.”
Anderson, similar to Crow, stated that Edwards in some way has bettered the ASU football program. The illusion prompted by university officials that Edwards is deserving of his position after the last few months is unique.
It’s unique because nearly none of Crow and Anderson’s statements today are based in fact. Seemingly every major statistic has either remained the same or worsened with Edwards in charge.
While the investigation will eventually play itself out, it appears Edwards will see the upcoming season through at the least. Edwards’ status remains ingrained in the trust Crow and Anderson have in him.
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