Herm Edwards firing talk reignited with ASU football staff changes amid NCAA investigation

Jeremy Cluff
Arizona Republic

A lot of the talk surrounding Herm Edwards' job security as Arizona State football coach was quelched when ASU athletic director Ray Anderson indicated Edwards would be back after the Sun Devils' win over Arizona in November.

Recent activity in the ASU football program has reignited talk of Edwards potentially being fired.

Five assistant coaches at ASU have now lost their jobs as a result of the NCAA's investigation into recruiting violations in Tempe, either through resignations or firings, and several writers are once again calling for Edwards to be fired as coach as the overseer of the Arizona State program.

The Arizona Republic's Kent Somers is among those writers.

He recently called for Edwards (as well as recruiting coordinator Antonio Pierce, who is out at ASU as of Wednesday afternoon), to be ousted in Tempe.

He wrote: "What’s not clear is why Antonio Pierce, the program’s recruiting coordinator, is still employed. And head coach Herm Edwards, for that matter. ASU President Michael Crow should direct Athletic Director Ray Anderson to clean house in the football program. And if Anderson won’t fire Edwards, his old friend, then he needs to go, too. … ASU, which markets itself as a leader in innovation, refuses to take bold steps to fix its football program. It continues to employ the assistant who coordinated recruiting when recruiting rules were violated. And it continues to employ the head coach who supervised the recruiting coordinator and the four departed assistants connected to the scandal. That’s not innovation. That’s dereliction."

More:Herm Edwards video resurfaces amid Arizona State football NCAA recruiting investigation

Many are once again calling for the Arizona State Sun Devils to fire Herm Edwards as head coach of the football program.

The San Jose Mercury News' Jon Wilner listed Edwards' coaching seat as "scalding," and wrote that no Pac-12 coaching seat is hotter than that of the ASU coach.

He wrote:"The Sun Devils haven’t materially improved their position in the conference over the sweep of Edwards’ tenure — the best that can be said is that ASU was a second-half blowout away (at Utah) from leading the South division entering the final month of Edwards’ fourth year. Meanwhile, the recruiting scandal cost four assistants their jobs. And according to a published report, NCAA investigators have been told that Edwards either knew about, or participated in, the improper activities during the dead period. All in all, no program in the conference is facing a more dire immediate future."

More:Arizona State defensive coordinator Antonio Pierce 5th football staff departure since 2021

Wilner also addressed the state of the ASU program in a column questioning why Edwards was still employed by Arizona State.

"Will Edwards remain in charge? If it’s true that he participated in, or knew about the recruiting visits during the dead period, he should be fired — of course he should be fired. But because Edwards is close friends and former business partners with athletic director Ray Anderson, anything is possible. Anderson already told the players (after the regular-season finale against Arizona) that Edwards would return for ’22. We don’t believe it’s quite that simple. If the NCAA’s Notice of Allegations is delivered to ASU before the season, and if Edwards is implicated, the optics would force the Sun Devils to make a move. (Also, why would Edwards want to continue coaching under those circumstances? The glare and criticism would be intense.) Bottom line: The deeper ASU digs in, the longer ASU resists, the greater the damage and more prolonged the recovery. Every move should be geared toward positioning the program for its next chapter, after the NCAA has delivered the sanctions and the clouds of scandal fade."

Edwards' name also shows up on several early "coaches on the hot seat" lists for 2022, including ones from BetMGM and Bleacher Report.

But writers aren't the only ones questioning why Edwards still has a job at ASU.

ASU fans took to social media to voice their displeasure with him still being the Sun Devils' coach.

65.8% of voters in an azcentral sports poll voted that Edwards and Pierce should both be fired from Arizona State. 5.2% voted that the school should just fire Edwards and 7.2% voted that it should just fire Pierce.

21.7% voted that neither Edwards nor Pierce should be fired.

More:Somers: Zak Hill is gone at ASU. So why are Herm Edwards, Antonio Pierce still employed?

Several shared their thoughts on Twitter and Facebook:

Joshua Donn:  "Yes. You have blatant disregard for rules both on the field (see penalties) and off the field (recruiting violations) - if we weren’t happy with CTG and the results he got us, why are we content to let Herm do the same thing with more distractions and potential sanctions?"

Jayson Bailey: "The only thing I can think of that remotely justifies Crow and/or the ABOR not firing HE and AP YET is they are working on a case to fire with cause so they don't have to pay out contracts."

Deniz Michael: "So this guy can't recruit 4 star or 5 star recruits but still gets violations. What a joke this program has become. It was better under Dirk, Todd and Dennis. BTW according to Rivals ASU is ranked 91st in recruiting, yeah 91st."

Steven August: "There's a dumpster fire in Tempe."

More:Arizona State offensive coordinator Zak Hill resigns, 2 interim coaches elevated

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