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BREAKING: ASU self-imposing one year postseason ban on football team

The ban comes amid a years-long NCAA investigation into alleged recruiting violations

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ASU Vice President for University Athletics Ray Anderson released a statement Sunday morning revealing that the ASU football team will issue a one-year self-imposed ban from post-season football amid an ongoing NCAA investigation.

ASU has self-imposed a one-year bowl ban on its football program in the wake of a years-long NCAA investigation into alleged recruiting violations committed by the staff of previous head coach Herm Edwards

“Arizona State University has informed the NCAA and Pac-12 conference that it will self-impose a one-year postseason ban on its football program for the upcoming season,” ASU Vice President for University Athletics Ray Anderson said in a statement Sunday. “In light of the ongoing investigation and our membership obligation to maintain the confidentiality of the matter, we will not be commenting further at this time.”

The decision means that, regardless of the performance of this year’s team, it will not be eligible for postseason play after finishing its final season in the Pac-12. The move could dampen excitement for a team that has built expectations for its first season with head coach Kenny Dillingham and newly-announced starting quarterback, true freshman Jaden Rashada. ASU's last bowl game appearance was in the Las Vegas Bowl on Dec. 30, 2021, in a losing effort against the University of Wisconsin.

READ MORE: Jaden Rashada to be ASU's starting quarterback to start 2023-24 season

Dillingham's contract stipulates that if the NCAA were to impose a post-season ban, "ASU will request (Arizona Board of Regents') approval of an extension of Coach’s contract for each year such sanctions are in effect, with each additional year including the annual salary increase of $100,000." It is unconfirmed whether a self-imposed ban will trigger this clause in the contract.

The NCAA’s investigation into ASU began in June 2021 when ASU spokesperson Katie Paquet confirmed the school was being investigated for recruiting violations centered around the program hosting recruits on ASU’s campus during an NCAA-imposed recruiting dead period. The dead period, which prohibited interaction between team officials and recruits, began at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and ended in June 2021. 

Yahoo Sports reported at the time that the alleged violations were overseen and spearheaded by then associate head coach Antonio Pierce, whose culture of rule-breaking frustrated staff members. An anonymous former ASU staff member ultimately provided evidence to the NCAA, which sparked the investigation. 

Pierce resigned in early February 2022. Former offensive coordinator Zak Hill and tight ends coach Adam Breneman resigned the preceding week concerning the case. The same week, wide receivers coach Prentice Gill and defensive backs coach Chris Hawkins were fired for cause.

Edwards, a former client of Anderson’s, left the program in October 2022 after a 1-2 start to the 2022 season, which included a home loss to Eastern Michigan University. Upon his departure, he was given a 50% buyout worth approximately $4.4 million, and was temporarily replaced by running backs coach Shaun Aguano for the rest of the season. 

READ MORE: Herm Edwards to take 50% buyout of remaining salary, plus benefits and academic bonus

In January 2022, the NCAA ratified a new Constitution, outlining that “each member institution, consistent with the principle of institutional control, shall hold itself accountable” to NCAA regulations. The Constitution also emphasizes that punishments brought down by the NCAA should avoid discipline that impacts players and coaches who were not involved with the violations. 

The NCAA has yet to release a notice of allegations against ASU concerning the case.

Edited by Alfred Smith, Walker Smith, Shane Brennan and Jasmine Kabiri.

Reach the reporter at and follow @_alexwakefield on Twitter. 

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