Arizona State University has announced that it will self-impose a one-year bowl ban for the upcoming 2023 season. This decision comes in response to violations committed under former coach Herm Edwards. The school’s athletic director, Ray Anderson, issued a statement informing the NCAA and Pac-12 conference of their decision. Despite the ongoing investigation, the university has chosen to take responsibility for the infractions by sanctioning its football program.
Devastating Impact on Players
The news of the bowl ban was delivered to the team on Sunday morning, resulting in a devastating reaction from the players. This announcement is especially disheartening for the more than 20 seniors on the roster who had hoped to end their college careers with a postseason appearance. The emotional toll of this decision is evident, highlighting the significant impact that penalties like these can have on student-athletes.
The NCAA began investigating Arizona State in June 2021 following allegations involving former defensive coordinator Antonio Pierce. It is alleged that Pierce, who also served as the school’s recruiting coordinator, fostered a culture that rewarded rule breaking. Specifically, the university is accused of flagrantly violating recruiting rules, including ignoring NCAA-mandated dead periods during the COVID-19 pandemic. The severity of these violations is indicated by the existence of a group text among Arizona State staff members, documenting their actions and eventually shared with the NCAA.
As a result of the investigation, five full-time coaches, including Antonio Pierce and former offensive coordinator Zak Hill, have either left the staff or been fired. The departure of these coaches underscores the seriousness of the violations and the university’s commitment to addressing them. However, it is important to note that the NCAA has not yet sent a notice of allegations to Arizona State. Therefore, the full extent of the consequences for the university and its football program remains to be seen.
Former Coach Herm Edwards
Herm Edwards served as the head coach of the Sun Devils from 2018 to 2022 before leaving the position under a “mutual agreement” just three games into the 2022 season. Following his departure, Edwards joined ESPN as an analyst, returning to a role he had previously held from 2009. While Edwards is no longer directly affiliated with the university, the violations that occurred during his tenure have contributed to the current situation Arizona State finds itself in.
Impact on Future Seasons
Arizona State’s self-imposed bowl ban for the 2023 season will undoubtedly have a significant impact on the team’s performance and morale. With the loss of the opportunity to compete in the postseason, the Sun Devils must find new motivation and goals for the upcoming year. Additionally, this decision comes at a time of transition for the university, as they are set to join the Big 12 in 2024. The implications of the sanctions and the subsequent move to a new conference set the stage for a challenging and uncertain future for Arizona State football.
Arizona State’s decision to self-impose a bowl ban for the 2023 season is a significant development in the ongoing investigation into the football program’s violations. While the university takes responsibility for its actions, the consequences of this decision will be felt by the players, coaches, and fans alike. It remains to be seen how Arizona State will navigate the fallout from these infractions and prepare for their future in the Big 12 conference.