The NCAA is investigating Arizona State football over alleged improper benefits for high school prospects during the COVID-19 dead period, according to The Athletic's Doug Haller.
All in-person recruiting was paused by the NCAA in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 crisis. Arizona State allegedly hosted high school recruits during the pause of in-person recruiting, per The Athletic.
“ASU can confirm the NCAA is conducting an investigation regarding allegations related to our football program,” Katie Paquet, Arizona State's vice president of media relations and strategic communications, said in a statement. “In accordance with NCAA bylaws, the university cannot provide further comment at this time.”
Arizona State played just four games in 2020, finishing 2–2 as the program dealt with a stream of COVID-19 absences. The Sun Devils removed themselves from bowl consideration before the end of the 2020 season.
Former Jets and Chiefs head coach Herm Edwards is currently the head coach of the Sun Devils, though he "leans heavily" on associate head coach Antonio Pierce, per The Athletic. Pierce, a former linebacker for the New York Giants, also serves as the program's recruiting coordinator and defensive coordinator.
In one instance, the school was reportedly "hiding" recruits in a suite during a home game last season. A former coach said he saw two recruiting assistants bringing a recruit to see Edwards through the back stairs.
The NCAA returned to its traditional in-person recruiting process on June 1. Arizona State has hosted prospects for official visits throughout June as it looks to build its 2022 recruiting class.
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