ASU Football: Herm Edwards Reacts to Pac-12 Canceling the Season
On Tuesday, the Pac-12 conference announced it’s fall sports seasons would be canceled, with a tentative date of January 1, 2021, to resume competitive play across the conference.
“The health, safety, and well-being of our student-athletes and all those connected to Pac-12 sports has been our number one priority since the start of this current crisis,” said Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott earlier today. “Our student-athletes, fans, staff and all those who love college sports would like to have seen the season played this calendar year as originally planned, and we know how disappointing this is.”
Arizona State held their own meeting with local media, with Ray Anderson (Vice President for University Athletics) Herm Edwards (head football coach) and Dr. Aaron Krasnow, Ph.D., (Associate Vice President, ASU Health Services & ASU Counseling Services) joining the meeting as well.
Edwards on delivering the news to his players:
“I think the players were well aware of the temperature in the air, with all the social media outlets they have to grab onto and listen to,” said Edwards. “I just told them the best way to figure things out is, ‘I’ll tell you.’ I think they were well aware that when a decision was made, I was going to tell the outcome had been.
Were they disappointed? Yeah. We’re all disappointed.”
Edwards also mentioned the tremendous leadership within ASU that had essentially created a bubble for his players, and that the team had meetings with fellow conference leaders with the health and safety of the athletes in mind when making the decision, as Edwards said the Arizona State staff have never questioned the input of the medical personnel.
“How we move forward from here is very important,” said Edwards. “We have a schedule right now that we’re on, players will be in the building tomorrow. They’ll be here Thursday and Friday, and we’ll continue to do what we do as we get more information on what type of schedule we go to now as far as our ability to meet, walkthrough and stay in condition. So we’ll figure that out as the week goes by.”
With the Pac-12 looking to move football season to the spring, some are worried about the possibility of players sitting out in favor of preparing for the NFL Draft, which is scheduled to begin in late April. Edwards wasn’t very concerned about a plethora of players sitting out:
“I would think according to where they might get picked, similar to bowl games… I do think a lot of guys would play.” Edwards spoke on the ability to improve draft stock for players wanting to potentially play in the spring as a reason for them to show, and pointed out the absences of Brandon Aiyuk and N’Keal Harry as examples of top-talented guys who may have made the same decision.
There’s a lot of unknown to what the future holds for collegiate athletes at Arizona State and the rest of the Pac-12. With the removal of America’s favorite sport, criticism of the conference’s decision will foster negative opinions surrounding the schools who unanimously voted to cancel football season.
Coach Edwards has a simple message for those who question today’s decision:
“The right decision was made: Protect the student-athlete. That’s what this university has always been about, that’s what this conference has always been about.”