Fans often blame coaches and players for the lack of success the ASU football program has experienced, however fans never seem to point the fingers at themselves.
While fans may not think they have an impact on the game because they do not call plays like coaches or score touchdowns like players, they do have an impact on the type of player that comes to Arizona State.
When recruits visit a school, they want a sold-out stadium and electric atmosphere, something ASU is rarely able to offer.
In a blog on ESPN.com, Ted Miller writes that although Arizona high school football is improving, the fans are costing the Sun Devils some big recruits.
“Many of those prospects leave the state, perhaps because ASU has never consistently filled Sun Devil Stadium,” Miller writes. “ASU’s average attendance of 47,943 last fall was at 65 percent capacity, the lowest percentage in the Pac-12.”
High school athletes come to the next level expecting exposure. Why would a big time recruit want to play at a school that cannot even fill three quarters of their stadium?
It is unreasonable for fans to expect recruits to choose to play in Tempe in front of a half-empty stadium when there are other schools in the Pac-12, such as Oregon, that have sold out every home game since 1999.
ASU fans may find it easiest to blame Dennis Erickson and sloppy play, but they should take some accountability as well.
After all, some of the sloppy play could be eliminated with a few more big recruits.