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Even with an NCAA investigation lingering, Arizona State is apparently sticking with Herm Edwards.
According to the Associated Press, ASU athletic director Ray Anderson told the team that Edwards will be back in 2022. Additionally, following the Sun Devils 38-15 win over Arizona, Edwards told reporters that he’s “going to be the coach.”
With the win, Arizona State finished the regular season with an 8-4 record. That gives Edwards a 25-17 overall record with a 17-14 mark in Pac-12 play over his four seasons at ASU. Edwards’ predecessor, Todd Graham, was fired after going 46-32 in six seasons.
Despite the winning seasons, there was plenty of uncertainty about whether Edwards, 67, would be back in 2022. There has been plenty of uneven play on the field, but the main reason was the ongoing NCAA investigation into Edwards’ program.
Over the summer, Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel reported that the ASU program was being investigated for a bevy of NCAA rules violations including hosting recruits on campus during the NCAA dead period that took place because of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of the investigation, four of Edwards’ assistants have been placed on administrative leave.
Because of the investigation, some wondered if Edwards would opt to resign after the season. But now it appears that will not be the case. He told reporters after the game that he has no plans to retire, either.
The NCAA investigation has affected recruiting significantly. ASU has just five verbal commitments in its class of 2022, and one of them is a kicker. The early signing period is three weeks away.
Could things change? Perhaps. Anderson is a close friend of Edwards and his former agent back from his days as an NFL head coach. There’s always a chance that the ASU administration could step in and overrule Anderson’s decision.
The NCAA notoriously works slowly, so it’s unclear when any resolution from the investigation could come. Based on some of the reported allegations, the violations could lead to some pretty significant penalties — penalties that could make it really hard to keep this coaching staff intact.