Arizona State issues statement on why it self-imposed a bowl ban

Aug 29, 2023, 10:03 AM | Updated: Aug 30, 2023, 8:42 am

Ray Anderson, vice president for university athletics at Arizona State...

Arizona State university on Sunday announced a self-imposed bowl ban hoping to reduce penalties from the pending NCAA investigation into recruiting malpractices by former head coach Herm Edwards and his staff. The goal is to allow current coach Kenny Dillingham to move on, but the decision and timing was curious ahead of the Thursday 2023 opener.

The Sun Devils on Tuesday issued a list of five bullet-point items to push back on several narratives.

For example, columnists and analysts have proposed that the announcement of the self-ban at the start of the season had to do with keeping current ASU players from leaving via the transfer portal.

Arizona State pointed out that the portal was closed in April of this year (though there can be exceptions made for teams that have head-coaching changes).

The university also pointed out that the NCAA investigation that ended at Tennessee, a case that has been compared to Arizona State’s violations, is closed at the NCAA level as of July 14. ASU’s case is still ongoing.

The Sun Devils said the recruiting penalties handed down in that case would limit Dillingham’s abilities to build the program.

Tennessee did not impose a bowl ban but, as ASU says, took “‘an enhanced financial penalty’ of $8 million to lieu of a postseason competition ban,” among other penalties.

Here is the full statement from Arizona State’s athletics department:

Arizona State statement on self-imposed bowl ban

* The deadline for ASU undergraduate student athletes to enter the transfer portal was in April 2023.

* The NCAA case involving the University of Tennessee, which was particularly relevant to ASU’s case, was pending until the Committee on Infractions announced its decision on July 14, 2023.

* In the University of Tennessee case the NCAA Committee on Infractions imposed “an enhanced financial penalty” of $8 million in lieu of a postseason competition ban. It also required enhanced recruiting penalties, e.g., a 120-day reduction of evaluation days (28 fall days and 92 spring days), a 40-week reduction of unofficial visits, a loss of 28 scholarships, and a 28-week “reduction of communications” with recruits, i.e., no communications.

* ASU believes that if recruiting penalties of the type set out in the Tennessee case were applied to ASU, such penalties would seriously impair Coach Dillingham’s ability to build ASU’s football program.

* ASU self-imposed a postseason ban to help pave the way for program stability and greater clarity going forward.

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