ARIZONA STATE FOOTBALL

Reports: Graham Rossini’s Arizona State AD candidacy receiving backlash from boosters

Apr 24, 2024, 6:13 PM

Michael Crow...

Arizona State University, President Dr. Michael Crow speaks at the 2016 Concordia Summit - Day 1 at Grand Hyatt New York on September 19, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Concordia Summit)

(Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Concordia Summit)

As Arizona State University works toward finding its next athletic director, prime candidate Graham Rossini’s potential hire is facing backlash, Action Network’s Brett McMurphy reported on Wednesday.

University president Michael Crow was ready to present Rossini as his AD target to the Arizona Board of Regents as soon as Thursday, according to SunDevilSource’s Chris Karpman, but there has been pushback from donors on making an internal hire.

The NCAA levied penalties for recruiting violations by Arizona State’s football program on Friday. ASU football will enter a four-year probationary period, pay a fine, vacate records and see scholarship reductions after the NCAA found Level I recruiting violations under former coach Herm Edwards’ staff.

Former athletic director Ray Anderson in November resigned from the position he held for nearly a decade, citing the changing NCAA landscape.

Rossini has been serving as executive senior associate athletic director and chief business officer since September after being named a senior associate athletic director in February 2021.

He got his administrative start as director of baseball operations for Arizona State in 2002 after graduating from ASU’s W.P. Carey School of Business.

Rossini brought that baseball experience with him to the Arizona Diamondbacks’ special projects and fan experience department, where he served from 2008-21.

In his current role, Rossini manages the university’s partnership with Adidas and had a key role in the school inking the 15-year Mountain America Stadium and 10-year Desert Financial Arena naming rights deals. The former deal was reportedly valued at more than $50 million over its length.

He also is part of the Big 12 transition team as ASU moves into the Big 12 for the 2024-25 school year and beyond.

Reports indicate the backlash is not personally for Rossini but for the idea of promoting someone from within an athletic program that has faced the scrutiny ASU has over the past few years.

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