Report: ASU Football Being Investigated for Allegedly Hosting Recruits amid COVID-19

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJune 16, 2021

Rick Scuteri/AP Images

The Arizona State football program is reportedly under investigation for potential NCAA recruiting violations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Doug Haller of The Athletic, the NCAA is looking into allegations that Arizona State hosted in-person recruiting visits during a time when they were banned because of COVID-19.

Katie Paquet, Arizona State's vice president of media relations and strategic communications, confirmed that ASU is under investigation but did not provide additional details, saying: "ASU can confirm the NCAA is conducting an investigation regarding allegations related to our football program. In accordance with NCAA bylaws, the university cannot provide further comment at this time."

Per Haller, the NCAA outlawed in-person recruiting visits for 15 months beginning in March 2020 as part of its COVID-19 protocols.

Haller also reported that a former ASU athletic department employee said some within the Sun Devils football program are "concerned about losing their jobs."

Former New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs head coach Herm Edwards has been the head coach at Arizona State since 2018, posting a 17-13 record and taking the Sun Devils to two bowl games.

Haller noted that while Edwards is the head coach, he plays more of a "CEO" role, with the 67-year-old leaning "heavily on" former NFL linebacker, associate head coach and recruiting and defensive coordinator Antonio Pierce. Because of that, there is some question regarding whether Edwards was aware of the potential recruiting violations.

One former ASU athletic department staffer told Haller there is "no way" Edwards knew, while another former staffer said, "He is probably aware of 90 percent of the recruiting stuff that goes on."

Arizona State experienced significant COVID-19 issues during the 2020 season, as multiple cases resulted in the team missing almost a full month of play. The Pac-12 had already started late in relation to other conferences, and Arizona State played only four games, going 2-2.

After more than a year of college football programs being required to hold their recruiting visits via Zoom, the NCAA permitted them to return to normal procedures on June 1.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.