Arizona State football is being investigated by the NCAA regarding potential recruiting violations, including whether staff members had in-person interactions with prospects during a recently concluded 14-month period in which it was not allowed.
Recruits were able to visit college campuses on their own from mid-March of 2020 through May of this year but college coaches were not permitted to have face-to-face meetings with them or in any way facilitate or enhance such trips.
Compliance officials at ASU are aware of the investigation into head coach Herm Edwards’ program and have started an interview process with football staff members about the matter, according to three people directly familiar with the internal review.
“ASU can confirm the NCAA is conducting an investigation regarding allegations related to our football program,” Arizona State vice president of media relations and strategic communications Katie Paquet said. “In accordance with NCAA bylaws, the university cannot provide further comment at this time.”
Doug Haller of The Athletic was first to report on the NCAA investigation into ASU football on Wednesday.
Throughout the last year, a number of Sun Devil recruiting prospects provided interviews to Sun Devil Source about visits they took to the school’s campus during the 14-month so-called recruiting dead period in which only electronic correspondence including phone and video calls was permitted.
None of the recruits — which includes two committed prospects and three others who attended the team’s final spring practice at Sun Devil Stadium, which was open to the public — who spoke with Sun Devil Source about their time in Tempe specifically mentioned impermissible activity such as on-campus or off-campus meetings with coaches or other staff members.
It is unclear how many prospects are alleged to have had in-person contact with members of ASU’s staff during the period in which it was not allowed. The severity of any punishment would depend on the frequency and level of coordination of such impermissible interactions, a person with deep knowledge of such compliance issues said.
Since the recruiting dead period concluded at the end of May, the Sun Devils have hosted many recruits on campus, including no fewer than 11 prospects on all-expenses-paid official visits in the last two weeks.
The investigation threatens to derail the Sun Devils’ substantial momentum on and off the field. The program is widely forecasted to have one of the best teams in the Pac-12 this season and it has three committed four-star prospects earlier than any previous recruiting cycle in history.