Arizona State receives probation for NCAA violations

The Arizona State football program received four years of probation and an undisclosed fine for violations involving recruiting and using ineligible players during former coach Herm Edwards time in Tempe, the NCAA announced Friday.

In addition, four unnamed former university employees received show-cause penalties from 3-10 years in duration. The Sun Devils also had to vacate games in which ineligible players competed, saw scholarships reduced and received recruiting restrictions.

Arizona State, which self-imposed a postseason ban in 2023, remains eligible for bowl games following the 2024 regular season, its first in the Big 12.

Jason Leonard, the executive director of athletics compliance at Oklahoma and chief hearing officer for the NCAA committee on infractions panel, noted Arizona State’s cooperation.

“The school’s acceptance of responsibility and decision to self-impose meaningful core penalties is a model for all schools to follow and is consistent with the expectations of the NCAA’s infractions program,” Leonard said in a statement.

The trouble came to pass three years ago when Arizona State reportedly committed violations associated with the recruiting restrictions instituted during the COVID-19 “dead period.”

The NCAA stated that Edwards, fired after three games in 2022, committed a “responsibility violation” and that ASU allowed “recruiting inducements, impermissible tryouts” and was found to have committed tampering.

“The COVID dead period rules were created not only for the sake of competitive equity but for the safety and well-being of prospective and enrolled student-athletes and their families,” Arizona State president Michael Crow said. “ASU is disappointed and embarrassed by the actions of certain former football staff members who took advantage of a global pandemic to hide their behavior.”

There were no further details provided as to the former employees’ punishment.

One of those former employees is the school’s defensive coordinator at the time, Antonio Pierce, who is now the head coach of the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders.

Two of the four former employees are contesting their cases, the NCAA said, and a decision remains pending until those appeals are heard.