TEMPE, Ariz. — Herm Edwards has never been one to sidestep a microphone. When he joined Arizona State 4 ½ years ago, Edwards spoke of a “lifetime contract” at ESPN if he ever chose to return as an NFL analyst.
That should be comforting these days for the Sun Devils’ 67-year-old coach.
A unique 2018 arrival in the desert has evolved into an uncertain future. Tuesday, in the Arizona State coach’s first remarks at a formal press conference setting since the end of last season, Edwards talked a lot but didn’t say much.
Much of what folks wanted to hear about was one of the biggest stories of the offseason: Arizona State remaining under investigation for allegedly committing major recruiting violations that are beyond the pale, if true. Recruits were reportedly brought in during the COVID-19 dead period violating not only NCAA rules but medical common sense and ethics.
“I don’t listen to the noise, and this is about spring football,” Edwards said Tuesday. “That other stuff, I won’t comment on it. That’s the way it is.”
Both Edwards and the school are lawyered up. It is becoming clear — barring any other developments — that Edwards will return for a fifth season. He is 25-18 across the previous four. Again, that’s less of a point compared to the alleged liberties taken by the staff.
Five of Edwards’ now-former assistants have departed Arizona State or been fired. For better or worse, the school is clearly circling the wagons around its head coach.
The Sun Devils are nowhere close to receiving a notice of allegations from the NCAA, sources tell CBS Sports.
That fits the profile of the only other school to have allegedly committed the same violations during COVID-19. Tennessee is also far from getting its notice, according to…