Arizona State football, Herm Edwards defended by AD Ray Anderson

When Herm Edwards was hired as football coach at Arizona State, ASU athletic director Ray Anderson made some lofty proclamations about the Sun Devil football program, including being in the Pac-12 Top 3 , the Top 15 in the country and go to the big bowl. games with regularity.

That didn’t happen in the coach’s first four seasons. But it’s still possible, according to Anderson, who said he never put a timeline on his aspirations for the football team under Edwards in an interview on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM on Wednesday.

Appearing on The Bickley and Marotta Show, the ASU athletic director said this when asked if his proclamations for the football program when hiring Edwards were “overzealous.”

Continued:ASU President Michael Crow explains why Herm Edwards is still the Sun Devils football coach

“Not at all, not at all, you have to have big aspirations,” Anderson told Dan Bickley and Vince Marotta. “ASU had never achieved those metrics. And so the expectations are that yes, we want to be Top 3, we want to be Top 15 in the country. We want to surpass anything the college football team has been able to do on a consistently because it’s been a very long time no one, if ever, can say you’ve done it consistently but we didn’t say we were going to do it in 2 or 3, 4 years we have said that was our aspiration and we keep it as our aspiration.

“Anyone who wanted to say that you were making a promise that you would in the next two three or four years, quite frankly, that’s an interpretation that I think is not correct. Do we have any aspirations to build for that “Absolutely, yes. But it’s going to take time because it hasn’t been done before and so it wasn’t going to miraculously happen in two or three, four years. We never said that. So I don’t I guess the only thing I would have said is by the way folks, it’s never been done here, quite frankly, and it’s going to take a while to get there. a schedule that did not exist for previous programs.

Continued:Arizona State football’s Herm Edwards slammed for ‘trust’ comments and lack of accountability

Many cited ASU’s failure to achieve these goals as the reason the school fired Anderson and Edwards, in addition to the recruiting investigation that came under Edwards’ watch.

The Sun Devils are 25-18 in Edwards’ four seasons, but have just been drafted into a historically weak recruiting class.

Anderson preached patience with the football program in the interview.

“I would tell them we don’t believe in it, we still have a lot of confidence that this program is still going to accomplish some things,” he said Wednesday. “Yes, we recognize that we had some difficulties, but overall we have moved the program forward. I would tell them to understand that college athletics and certainly football and basketball in general have changed dramatically in the past. over the last couple of years certainly with the transfer portal which really translates into college free agency and now the robust name and image and likeness activities that are going on which very frankly translates into payment for the game. The model of college football for the purposes of this discussion has definitely changed, so we’re going to have to adjust our model that we instituted when we brought Herm here. We’re going to have to be, I think, as it’s just described. title as a hybrid model in what we’re going to have to do because we’re not going to be able to go into an arms race with the new agency free and the new payment structure for the game which is now widespread. We will now have to differentiate ourselves by training and developing at a higher level for those who aspire to go into the professional ranks. We are going to have to adjust our model because the college model has changed. We are going to do it. We’re doing it and we’re very excited, certainly our players, our coaches, our staff are excited to go to spring ball with open competition, certainly quarterback and getting ready to go into summer and getting ready for a 2022 season which internally we believe will be very positive. That’s what we would say to our fans.”

Continued:Spencer Rattler’s dad: Money didn’t stop QB from transferring to Arizona State football

Interestingly, Anderson mostly sidestepped a question about Edwards’ responsibility as ASU’s football program coach midway through the investigation, saying he really couldn’t comment on it.

“You have an ongoing NCAA investigation, so we can’t speak about it publicly, as you know,” he said. “Giving you an assessment would be doing it. What I can tell you is that the NCAA process controls here, we don’t control it. As you know, this process can be freezing, by any standard. … We just have to be patient as needed. So we’re going to do that before making any final decisions on our program, who will lead it in the long term. One thing I can tell you is that personally, I certainly do not believe that a rush to judgment is warranted here in this matter at ASU and I will remain adamant about that.

ASU is scheduled to kick off its season Sept. 1 against Northern Arizona at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe.

Continued:Moore: Herm Edwards and Jayden Daniels leaving ASU? Trust me it doesn’t happen

Contact Jeremy Cluff at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @Jeremy_Cluff.

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