ARIZONA STATE FOOTBALL
Thamel lists ASU’s Herm Edwards among 4 on college football hot seat
Arizona State football players have noticed all the negative headlines from the past year of an NCAA investigation hovering over the program. Some will surely use it as motivational material.
And there’s been a lot of it.
They can add another one that specifically addresses the status of their football team’s CEO.
ESPN’s Pete Thamel named ASU head coach Herm Edwards as one of four coaches on the hot seat heading into the 2022 season. He joins Nebraska’s Scott Frost, Auburn’s Bryan Harsin and Georgia Tech’a Geoff Collins on the list.
ASU has a bad roster, underwhelming staff and the Pac-12’s worst recruiting class in 2023. All that, and a milquetoast 25-18 record under Edwards. ASU passed on starting over when the scope of the potential allegations against Edwards became apparent. Instead, they’ve emboldened the aggrieved staffers who claim they got pushed out for not cheating, who have been overloading NCAA investigators with evidence of the violations under Edwards’ watch. And the only people who don’t see this ending poorly are in the president’s and AD chairs in Tempe.
Thamel specifically targets Arizona State University president Michael Crow’s hypocrisy in his writeup and also points to vice president for university athletics Ray Anderson’s relationship as Edwards’ former agent.
The cartoonish way that AD Ray Anderson attempted to spin the hire of Edwards — his former client when Anderson was an agent — back in 2017 now reads like an article from The Onion.
Of course, there are complicating matters about Edwards still having a gig.
Edwards would cost $8 million in buyout money if ASU just fired him without cause, and finding cause isn’t as clean until the NCAA investigation into the team’s recruiting tactics during the pandemic gets close to wrapping up.
Crow told The Athletic on Tuesday that some coaches haven’t even been questioned by the NCAA thus far. So even though a handful of assistant coaches departed with their names linked to misdeeds related to the scandal, Edwards remains with a job.
The Sun Devils’ heavy roster turnover from a year ago and transition to working with two new coordinators will make for little room for error this season.
The players who joined ASU or returned, of course, have rallied around one another after hearing all this noise since the investigation opened before the 2021 season. If that’s good enough to execute and win, it will help push back against calls for Edwards’ job to end here.
If not, Arizona State will be more and more under the microscope, and pressure will build from the fan base that has seen recruiting and player retainment abilities crumble during these uncertain times.