ASU committed to AD Anderson, president says


Arizona State is committed to athletic director Ray Anderson, school president Michael Crow told ESPN on Tuesday.

Amid a sweeping NCAA investigation into the Sun Devil football program, the failed tenure of former coach Herm Edwards and plummeting interest in the program, Crow said that Anderson is in charge of “making things work” for ASU athletics as it embarks on a search for Edwards’ replacement.

“Ray is our VP for University Athletics,” Crow said in a text message to ESPN. “We are in the thick of making things work here and Ray is moving things forward.”

Anderson has been Arizona State’s athletic director since January 2014 and is under contract until February 2026. He’d created some of the ambiguity around his role moving forward by saying he’d be involved in the hire of Edwards’ successor but was unsure of “the structure” of how the process would work.

Anderson, a former agent, has been in the crosshairs since the unconventional hire of his former client, Edwards, back in 2017. Edwards’ middling performance over the past five seasons (26-20) ended with a thud in September when Arizona State got blown out at home by Eastern Michigan on Sept. 17.

Anderson fired Edwards the next day, which left an underachieving athletic department pondering what’s next. Attendance has lagged to historic lows, apathy has set in among donors and ASU’s search to replace Edwards didn’t appear within the industry to be taking shape at the same pace as other open jobs such as Colorado, Nebraska and Georgia Tech.

There’s still uncertainty about how serious the punishment will be from the ongoing NCAA investigation into the football program, which stems from allegations of repeated and blatant ignoring of NCAA recruiting restrictions during the pandemic. Sources have told ESPN that the investigation is considered significant by the NCAA and that part of the reason it hasn’t been completed yet is that there’s been so many coaches, former coaches and staffers willing to detail what happened.

The investigation led to both a staff and roster exodus that’s contributed to ASU’s 2-5 record, including 1-3 in Pac-12 play.

As ASU aims to reboot and points to compete in a new era of the Pac-12, Crow has trusted Anderson to be in charge of reshaping the football program moving forward.



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