What cracks me up about the unfolding recruiting scandal at Arizona State isn’t the scope of it, or even how brazen it was. It’s how careless they were at carrying it out.
The dossier of documents sent to the Arizona State compliance department and the NCAA enforcement department on May 31 begins with a blunt message about allegations of NCAA improprieties in the ASU football program.
“I am writing this letter to inform you about recruiting violations that are occurring at Arizona State University in their Football department. My objective is…providing enough information to assure you if Arizona State football is looked into, there will be violations found.”
From there, the letter provides, sometimes in meticulous detail, allegations of a series of potential NCAA violations. It specifically names 10 Arizona State “individual staff members to investigate” and lists 13 “illegal recruiting prospects” who visited campus during the COVID-19 dead period.
Overall, there are more than a dozen allegations in the dossier, which was viewed by Yahoo Sports this week. Some of the allegations are specific and have documented receipts and screenshots of emails the dossier cites as evidence of ASU staffers allegedly arranging trips for prospects to visit campus.
Receipts! The NCAA has the receipts!
… Sources told Yahoo Sports that a group of nearly a dozen staffers communicated regularly on group text about the allegedly illicit activities in the program.
The point of the group text wasn’t to accumulate allegations and pictures with a time stamp. Rather, it was used as a real-time exclamation of the disbelief of what was happening in the program, a source said. That disbelief was accentuated as staffers saw coaches who weren’t participating in the alleged behavior pushed out of their jobs or had responsibilities stripped away as associate head coach Antonio Pierce gained power.
“That group text wasn’t necessarily to bring to the NCAA, but it was a way to say, ‘Look at how blatant they are being about it,’” said a source. “It was a way we scoffed at it, like, ‘Can you believe these guys?’”
Nothing like real time, on sight analysis of major recruiting violations.
The rest of Thamel’s piece is a combination of “hells, yeah, we’ll tell everything we know about those fuckers” and “new phone, who ‘dis?” defenses from people with their names on unflattering evidence. In other words, make sure your popcorn bag is full as you sit down to watch this unfold, friends.
Obviously, Herm Edwards’ big mistake was not hiring an SEC assistant coach who could direct him on how to do “if you ain’t cheatin’, you ain’t tryin'” the right way.