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Arizona State to self-impose bowl ban on football program in light of NCAA probe

TEMPE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 24:  Arizona State Sun Devils helmets during the college football game between the Utah Utes and the Arizona State Sun Devils on September 24, 2022 at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Arizona State won't play in a bowl game in the 2023 postseason. (Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Arizona State will self-impose a one-year postseason ban on its football program and veto bowl game participation for the upcoming season amid an ongoing NCAA investigation into alleged infractions that took place under former head coach Herm Edwards, the team announced Sunday.

"Arizona State University has informed the NCAA and Pac-12 conference that it will self-impose a one-year postseason ban on its football program for the upcoming season," athletic director Ray Anderson said in a statement. "In light of the ongoing investigation and our membership obligation to maintain the confidentiality of the matter, we will not be commenting further at this time."

The program informed its athletes of the decision Sunday morning, according to ESPN. It was reportedly "devastating" news for the players, more than 20 of whom are seniors.

Arizona State has been under investigation from the NCAA since June 2021. A dossier of documents sent to the program at the time included more than a dozen allegations and specifically named 10 Arizona State “individual staff members to investigate."

Edwards was accused of hosting recruits on campus during the NCAA dead period that took place because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Former defensive coordinator Antonio Pierce, who also served as the school's recruiting coordinator, was accused of helping create a culture that rewarded those violations.

The investigation led to five full-time coaches leaving the staff or being fired, including Pierce and former offensive coordinator Zak Hill.

Because of the investigation, some expected Edwards to resign after the 2021 season. But he didn't leave the role until three games into the 2022 season, under a "mutual agreement." He returned to his role as ESPN analyst in November, a job he began in 2009. He left the broadcasting position when he was hired to lead the Sun Devils in 2018

The program has yet to hear from the NCAA regarding the alleged violations that occurred under Edwards, according to The Athletic's Doug Haller.