The Phoenix Suns are in the middle of a NBA Finals run, the likes of which nobody in the Valley has seen at such a successful rate. The Suns have done a phenomenal job of uniting many across the state of Arizona for a handful of nights a week, playing as a welcome distraction for fans to back in the magic of a Devin Booker performance while leaving their problems behind for a few hours.
The headlines and stories generated by the Suns have undoubtedly been a welcome sight for those around Arizona State University. Between the Sun Devils being investigated by the NCAA for alleged recruiting violations and a recent lawsuit against the university stemming from sexual assault findings against a prominent booster, there's no doubting Arizona State would welcome anything to take the public eye off negative press.
Pac-12 expert Jon Wilner agrees:
"But we know the Sun Devils are experiencing a breathtaking stretch of unseemly optics that puts the spotlight squarely on their administration . . . In some regards, the timing of the recruiting scandal and the civil lawsuit is perfect. In the Valley of the Suns, all eyes are on the NBA Finals."
Tempe needs football season to arrive sooner rather than later, for a myriad of reasons. And it will. We are exactly eight weeks away from the Sun Devils hosting Southern Utah in Tempe on Sept. 2.
There's genuine excitement about ASU heading into 2021, and for good reason. The Sun Devils return 15 of 22 starters from last season, including a dominant secondary and a handful of impactful offensive linemen. Quarterback Jayden Daniels will look to take himself and the rest of the team to the next level, all beginning eight weeks from now.
By time kickoff is underway at Sun Devil Stadium, the team should have more clarity behind the aforementioned clouds that hang over the program. Once Arizona State takes the field, however, the group will have an opportunity to let their play make headlines over anything else.
We're almost there, ASU faithful. One week at a time.