The writing on the wall is ugly for Herm Edwards. For a coach that has preached doing things the right way for his entire life, it sure rings hollow this morning. There is reportedly stacks of evidence that Arizona State blatantly broke NCAA recruiting guidelines over the last year, and they ultimately landed a Syracuse recruit, Eric Gentry.
The reports show a program led by loud-mouthed Super Bowl winning linebacker Antonio Pierce, which had no regard for Covid regulations. Over the last year official visits were not permitted on campus. Everything had to be done virtually. But at ASU, recruits and their families were invited to campus, met with coaches at night, and walked through the facilities. In some cases, players were even worked out and the film dissected in coaches meetings.
Apparently there’s enough former coaches that got bullied or dismissed from the program over Herm’s four years that are out for revenge. The reports suggest it was an insider that presented all the evidence to the NCAA. Edwards’ pillars have always been old school values. No shortcuts. Respect the game. Take responsibility. This blatant disregard for rules during a nationwide health crisis sure sounds hypocritical when posed against that.
Gentry is a 3-star LB out of Philadelphia. The 6’6″, 205 lb. standout was offered by Syracuse in December 2019. He already had offers from Tennessee, Oregon and Virginia. ASU jumped in with an offer a month after SU, and then landed his commitment last summer in July. This was at the time that official visits were off the table for every program, and just a few months into the pandemic. Remember what life was like last summer. People weren’t traveling, seeing their families, and stuck at home in many places. ASU was hosting recruits, and if it was Gentry, he would’ve flown across the country to do so.
There’s no details yet on which recruits were the ones who took those illegal visits, but it sure seems interesting that Gentry committed in the summer and ultimately signed in December. He also had offers from much better programs than ASU, including Texas A&M, Cincinnati and Indiana.
All of ASU’s recruiting class in ’21 will be dissected. Every player will be under a microscope by the NCAA. Apparently there’s enough receipts to prove who was on campus and how it was paid for. Armon Bethea from Brooklyn’s Erasmus Hall is also part of that class, and while it’s a school SU has signed players from, Bethea was not an SU target. Plenty more is sure to come out about this scandal, but it’s hard not to think SU was one of the many victims of these recruiting violations.