I understand what Arizona State football fans are going through because I’ve been there.
You want to circle the wagons, blame an incompetent NCAA for a misguided witch hunt and fight back.
You won’t win that battle. Trust me, I went through it with Sean Miller. Circling the wagons around a fired coach walking does nothing but fracture a fan base, exhaust a program’s emotional equity and bankrupt many fans of the joys of their fandom.
All of that happens AND the end result is the same; the coach gets fired.
Under ordinary circumstances with almost any other coach, Arizona State football should fire their head coach for the allegations, investigation and fallout from their football recruiting scandal.
Herm Edwards, though, should keep his job. For now.
Its not because there’s a lack of evidence or lack of clarity on who’s responsible for the transgressions last year, in fact its the opposite.
Its very clear Herm Edwards bears the ultimate responsibility for what happened on campus during the recruiting dead period during the pandemic.
In fact, multiple reports have Herm physically present at the same meetings that likely cost Antonio Pierce, Zak Hill and three other staffers their jobs.
The perception has been the because Herm and Athletics Director Ray Anderson are close, Herm is being protected while the other coaches are paying his price. As one listener put it to me, when you hire your friends, its really hard to fire your friends.
Despite all of that overwhelming evidence, I want Herm Edwards to keep his job.
Here’s why: Herm Edwards entered the ASU job as a different kind of head coach. The head coach you could trust your teenager to and have him become a man. With Edwards at the helm, Arizona State was a place for development, growth, integrity AND football success.
Herm Edwards shouldn’t get to take the easy way out at the exact time he actually has an opportunity to walk the walk.
Integrity and leadership would be stepping up, publicly admitting the transgressions and vowing the stay until the mess is cleaned up. Herm Edwards could fill his staff with his NFL connections and do his best to get back on track both on the field and in the recruiting world.
Of course it won’t be easy and it probably won’t be successful but that’s true for almost anyone that would try and take over this program right now.
Herm Edwards best punishment and most commendable act would be to stick around only to step aside once the mess is cleaned up.
Almost every other coach would happily walk away from their own mess and let someone else clean it up. Herm was hired to be different. This is his chance to prove it.
Edwards is famous for saying lots of things but one stands out in particular from his public speaking days: “what happens in the darkness comes out in the light.”
Herm Edwards should stick around in the light, hopefully its not too bright for him.