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NCAA investigating ASU football for possible recruiting violations

The program reportedly hosted recruits on campus during the COVID-19 recruiting dead period


ASU coach Herm Edwards talks with now-sophomore offensive lineman Dohnovan West (61) on the sideline on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019, at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The NCAA is investigating possible violations committed by the ASU football program, according to a report from The Athletic and confirmed by a University spokesperson Wednesday.

"ASU can confirm the NCAA is conducting an investigation regarding allegations related to our football program," vice president of media relations and strategic communications Katie Paquet said in a statement. "In accordance with NCAA bylaws, the university cannot provide further comment at this time."

The statement did not specify the nature of the violations the program is being investigated for.

According to an initial report made Wednesday by Doug Haller, the football program is being investigated for hosting high school recruits on campus during the COVID-19 recruiting dead period, which started in March 2020 and was recently lifted on June 1, 2021.

During the dead period, recruits were not allowed to interact with any college coaches in person, and any contact with coaches needed to be done virtually. 

Pete Thamel of Yahoo! Sports reported Wednesday that an anonymous person sent a collection of screenshots, receipts, pictures and emails to the University's athletic department that pointed to the potential violations.

NCAA enforcement staff now possesses the documents, and ASU officials are conducting internal interviews, Thamel reported.  

While The Athletic originally reported it is not known if head coach Herm Edwards had any involvement with the possible violations, anonymous sources told Thamel that Edwards met with recruits. 

Defensive coordinator Antonio Pierce has served as the team's recruiting coordinator since 2018 and works alongside assistant recruiting coordinator and wide receivers coach Prentice Gill

According to 247Sports, the Sun Devils had the No. 52 recruiting class for 2021.

ASU's 2020 football season was heavily impacted by the coronavirus. Three consecutive games in November were canceled due to an outbreak of the virus within the program. Edwards, along with other coaches and multiple players, tested positive for COVID-19.

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