ASU’s Kenny Dillingham urges fans to step up as NIL ramps up

Nov 17, 2023, 11:31 AM

Arizona State head coach Kenny Dillingham...

Head coach Kenny Dillingham of the Arizona State Sun Devils talks with quarterback Jaden Rashada #5 before the NCAAF game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys at Mountain America Stadium on September 09, 2023 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Arizona State head coach Kenny Dillingham has made it known that the school’s NIL efforts have lagged behind its peers.

But there’s a reason for that.

Former Arizona State vice president for university athletics Ray Anderson was never too fond of NIL. Many supporters of Arizona State athletics withheld their funding with Anderson holding onto the job.

It has caused the program to fall to “dead last,” according to Dillingham, in the Pac-12 regarding NIL recruitment.

“The reality is, in college football, if you don’t have NIL, you’ve eliminated 80% of the kids you can recruit right off the bat and we’re way behind right now,” Dillingham told Arizona Sports’ Bickley & Marotta on Friday. “We have an entire city, an entire valley behind us that if we do this right, if everybody wants to get engaged and if the Arizona State alumni get engaged … we could operate at the top of a new conference and go in there strong.”

Once it became known that Anderson was stepping down from his role on Monday, ASU fans stepped up.

According to Sun Devil Source, the Sun Angel Collective, ASU’s official collective for athletics, signed up more new monthly members in the wake of Anderson’s resignation than any day in its existence.

As the offseason looms, the next four weeks are pivotal in the recruiting game. With the transition to the Big 12 evidently near, Dillingham has called on fans to turn up and support the program.

“You really have a four-week window starting right now to be able to get this done for this next year because most of that stuff gets done in the next four weeks,” Dillingham said. “So this is the challenge right now for people to step up and say, ‘how badly do they want Arizona State football to win?'”

No. 6 Oregon comes to town on Saturday, a mighty opponent for the Sun Devils who are coming off a 17-7 win over UCLA in Pasadena, California.

The fanbase is expected to be engaged as they arrive at Mountain America Stadium this weekend. Oregon comes to Tempe for the first time since 2019 when ASU upset the then-No. 6 Ducks and crushed their playoff chances.

“If we expect to beat a team like Oregon at home, we better have the best home-field advantage in the country,” Dillingham said. “We better have a sold-out crowd, loud as can be.”

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