Arizona State football coach Herm Edwards addresses NCAA investigation, 'trust'

Jeremy Cluff
Arizona Republic
Herm Edwards addressed the state of his Arizona State football program in an interview on Tuesday.

Arizona State football coach Herm Edwards addressed the state of his football program in an interview on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Tuesday morning.

Edwards discussed the NCAA recruiting investigation surrounding his team and more in the interview on the Bickley and Marotta Show.

"I feel this way, that when you delegate responsibility you have to trust people," Edwards said during the interview with Dan Bickley and Vince Marotta in response to a question about the NCAA investigation into recruiting violations with his program and whether his loyalty had been taken advantage of. "I live in a world like that. I grew up this way. I don't micromanage people. I understand what is going on for the most part, but at the end of the day, football is about trust, by the way. This game is built on trust. … People in the circle you've got to trust each other that they are going to do their job. If they don't, you can't run the play. It doesn't function that way ... Sports is all about trust. It's about the people that you trust that are going to do their jobs correctly and in the right way."

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Arizona State has had a lot of coaching turnover in the wake of the investigation, with several assistants resigning or getting fired.

Many have also called for Edwards to be fired.

When asked how he is dealing with the situation surrounding ASU's football team, Edwards said: "I think being a coach, you realize that your No. 1 priority is your team and I've always had that mindset. It's the players in the building and the people in the building. I know this, we're excited about the players that we've brought in here, they are excited about being a part of the program ... We're moving on, we're getting ready for spring football and getting prepared."

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Interestingly, Edwards refused to comment on the situation with Jayden Daniels, the starter for the program the past three seasons who recently entered the transfer portal after announcing in December that he would return to the school.

"Anyone that decides to leave this program, for whatever reason, they have the ability to do that now with the portal," Edwards said. "When you have minicamp sometimes and the veterans don't show up because of contracts or whatever, you don't talk about the guys that aren't here. You just talk about the guys that are here. That's always been my mindset and that's only fair ..."

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Arizona State opens the season on Sept. 1 hosting Northern Arizona.

At several points in the interview, Edwards talked about how excited he was for the season.

"Lot of energy in the building, actually, when you think about this football team," he said.

"We're excited with the team that we've assembled over the offseason," he added.

And also: "It's going to be fun to watch."

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And as for the team's struggles in recruiting during the investigation, Edwards said: "Our path is real simple, even before this transpired. We were going to go into the portal. It's free agency in college football. It becomes a part of it. When you lose as many players as we were going to lose ... When we looked at our football team we said, 'You know what? We're going to have to deal in the portal. Get about 15 to 16 portal players and then fill the rest with high school players.' ...  We've brought in some guys that have a lot of experience ..."

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