ARIZONA STATE FOOTBALL

Herm Edwards shrugs off David Shaw’s criticism of ASU recruiting scandal

Aug 23, 2021, 11:28 AM | Updated: 11:28 am

Head coach Herm Edwards of the Arizona State Sun Devils looks on against the Stanford Cardinal in t...

Head coach Herm Edwards of the Arizona State Sun Devils looks on against the Stanford Cardinal in the fourth quarter of the game at Sun Devil Stadium on October 18, 2018 in Tempe, Arizona. Stanford won 20-13. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Herm Edwards feels those who know him will vouch for his integrity. The Arizona State head coach isn’t worried about how his personal reputation might be damaged by the NCAA investigation into potential recruiting violations.

That’s despite fellow coaches going on the record to speak on the allegations levied against the Sun Devils.

In Pete Thamel’s initial reporting about ASU’s alleged violations during a COVID-19 recruiting dead period, Stanford Cardinal head coach David Shaw and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick spoke out to Yahoo! Sports against Arizona State’s disregard of the rules.

Edwards shrugged off comments from Shaw specifically when asked by Arizona Sports’ Doug & Wolf if he’d heard the outside comments.

“I really didn’t hear anything. I heard somebody said Coach (Shaw) said something,” Edwards said on Monday. “Didn’t say anything to me at the (Pac-12) coaches’ meetings.

“C’mon guys. I’m 67 years old, man, you think I worry about stuff like that? That ain’t who I am, man. I’m focused in on our football team. I don’t worry about that noise outside … I don’t pay attention to that stuff.”

Yet, it was surprising Shaw and Swarbrick went on record to criticize another program just as an NCAA investigation became public knowledge.

“It’s a disrespectful thing to do,” Stanford coach David Shaw told Yahoo! Sports. “That doesn’t sound overly harsh. But for me being a lifer in this profession and a coach’s kid, I believe in respecting our profession and respecting the other people in the profession. Doing things that you’re not supposed to do just to gain an advantage, I take offense to that.”

Added Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick: “If there was ever a time when everyone following the same rules was critical, it’s now during a pandemic and during a time of such national scrutiny on college athletics.”

Shaw and Swarbrick responded to Thamel’s story that outlined charges that ASU frequently hosted recruits and their families when no high schoolers were allowed to take visits in the middle of the pandemic last year.

Edwards, who on Monday reiterated that adaptability is a necessity in his position, has remained adamant his football program is moving forward undistracted by the investigation, even though it has put three of his assistant coaches on administrative leave.

Tight ends coach Adam Breneman, receivers coach Prentice Gill and defensive backs assistant Chris Hawkins have been away from the program because of the investigation.

“That decision was made by whoever makes those decisions and that’s where we’re at,” Edwards said when asked if he or his higher-ups made the decision to put the assistants on leave. “Those guys are on administrative leave. They’re still here.

“I think we’re making way too much out of this, guys. We really are,” Edwards added when asked whether the coaches being away has added to the distractions. “We’ve been practicing almost a month now of football. … I just think you can make it whatever you want to make it. I know what we’ve done. We’ve been focused on the job at hand. You’re talking about so many guys who elected to come back to play says a lot about how they feel about this team. That was in spring. This team has great focus and we have a lot of leadership.”

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