Arizona State University made a significant statement on Sunday, announcing that it has chosen to self-impose a bowl ban for the upcoming 2023 season. The decision comes as a response to violations committed by the football program under the leadership of former coach Herm Edwards. The team’s athletic director, Ray Anderson, released a statement confirming the self-imposed sanction and also stated that the school will not provide further comments due to the ongoing investigation and confidentiality obligations.
Sunday morning, the players were informed of the bowl ban, and it was reported that the news was devastating, particularly for the more than 20 seniors on the team. This announcement hits hard as the players had high hopes and aspirations for the upcoming season, which have now been shattered by the self-imposed ban.
The NCAA initiated an investigation into Arizona State in June 2021 following allegations regarding former defensive coordinator Antonio Pierce’s involvement in creating a culture that rewarded rule-breaking. Furthermore, the school allegedly violated recruiting rules, including ignoring NCAA-mandated dead periods during the COVID-19 pandemic. The violations were so egregious that staff members even kept a group text documenting them, which was eventually sent to the NCAA in May 2021.
As a consequence of the ongoing investigation, five full-time coaches, including former coordinator Antonio Pierce and offensive coordinator Zak Hill, either left the coaching staff or were fired. These departures indicate the severity of the violations and the actions taken to rectify the situation. At present, the NCAA has not provided Arizona State with a notice of allegations.
Former coach Herm Edwards led the Sun Devils from 2018 until 2022 when he and the university agreed to part ways just three games into the season. Edwards later joined ESPN as an analyst. This significant career move attracted attention as it marked a return for Edwards to a role he held from 2009 until his hiring by Arizona State.
The self-imposed bowl ban adds a new layer of challenge to Arizona State Football’s already difficult journey. The team was projected to finish 10th in the Pac-12 this season according to the conference’s preseason media poll. Consequently, the Sun Devils will not have the opportunity to compete in postseason play and will have to focus on rebuilding and regrouping for the future.
This season also marks Arizona State’s last in the Pac-12, as the team is set to join the Big 12 in 2024 alongside three other Pac-12 members. As the program transitions to a new conference, the self-imposed bowl ban casts an uncertain shadow over the immediate future of Arizona State Football.
Arizona State University’s decision to self-impose a bowl ban for the 2023 season due to violations committed under former coach Herm Edwards sends a strong message regarding the school’s dedication to integrity and accountability. The impact of this decision on the players and the program as a whole cannot be understated. As the investigation continues and the team navigates through the upcoming season, the future of Arizona State Football remains uncertain, and the consequences of the violations committed will undoubtedly shape the program for years to come.