Arizona State University president Michael M. Crow says head football coach Herm Edwards is not the focus of the NCAA's investigation into the program's alleged recruiting violations.
Crow said Wednesday on Arizona Sports 98.7's Bickley & Marotta that other members of the staff weren't acting at Edwards' behest:
"Coach Edwards has done an outstanding job of upgrading our overall program. We got this (group) of people who decided to not play by the rules relative to recruiting. So we'll be looking to how we make improvements so forth and so on, but Coach Edwards is responsible for all the actions of all of his people, but these are things he did not ask them to do. These are not things he was a part of."
In June, Doug Haller of The Athletic reported the NCAA had begun investigating whether ASU's football program hosted high school prospects during the COVID-19 recruiting dead period.
There was disagreement about whether Edwards knew about the possible violations. One former staffer told Haller there was "no way" he'd know those types of recruiting details, and another said he serves as a "closer" in recruiting. However, a different source said Edwards is around "90 percent aware" of what's happening with the program's recruiting.
In the eight months since the investigation began, three coaches have resigned—defensive coordinator Antonio Pierce, offensive coordinator Zak Hill and tight ends coach Adam Breneman—while wide receivers coach Prentice Gill and defensive backs coach Chris Hawkins were fired.
In an appearance on Bickley & Marotta on Tuesday, Edwards said he delegated a lot of recruiting responsibility and that you have to "trust people" in those cases.
"I live in a world like that. I grew up this way. I just think—I don't micromanage people," Edwards said. "I understand what's going on for the most part, but at the end of the day, football's about trust, by the way. This game's built on trust."
He added the focus has switched to next season.
"We're moving on. We're getting ready for spring football and getting prepared," Edwards said.
Arizona State has given no indication the coach's job status is in jeopardy despite the investigation.
Edwards has compiled a 25-18 record since taking over the Sun Devils program in 2018. The team posted an 8-5 mark last season.