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NCAA is investigating ASU for possible recruiting violations

Potential violations are linked to recent recruiting practices and could involve several ASU coaches, sources told ESPN in the report.

TEMPE, Ariz. — ASU’s football program is under investigation by the NCAA, flagged for possible recruitment violations, according to multiple reports.

Last year, the NCAA paused in-person recruitment visits on campus due to COVID-19, a rule that expired at the end of May.

The NCAA in-person recruiting moratorium was for all college teams, an effort to keep people distanced, but also a way to keep teams on an even playing field during the uncertainty of COVID.

Now there are allegations that the ASU football team allegedly brought recruits to campus during a recruiting dead period.

“ASU can confirm the NCAA is conducting an investigation regarding allegations related to our football program," confirmed Katie Paquet, Vice President of Media Relations & Strategic Communications at Arizona State University. "In accordance with NCAA bylaws, the university cannot provide further comment at this time.”

Doug Haller, a reporter for The Athletic, helped break the story.

"The thing is you don’t know how big the scope is," he told Cam Cox with 12 Sports.  "If it was one weekend, a few recruits, or multiple weekends and dozens of recruits? I don’t know the answer to that yet, we’re still digging ."

A report from Yahoo Sports says compliance investigators already have a dossier full of evidence, with screenshots, receipts, emails and pictures connected to numerous potential violations.

"It’s a pretty comprehensive process," explained Patrick Stubblefield, a former NCAA compliance administrator and current sports attorney.

He says investigators will likely be combing through the teams' records.

"Travel itineraries, business records to see if they paid for any flights...receipts or invoices for hotel rooms," he said.

The virus already proved to be a tough match-up for the team, with more than 10 players and half a dozen staff members along with head coach Herm Edwards contracting the virus last November, leading to canceled games.

It’s not clear which staff members might be under investigation, but Stubblefield says they're probably all being interviewed.

"If it was sort of an isolated incident, it probably wouldn’t be that big of a deal," he told.

But if it was something bigger, with multiple recruits over a long period of time, Stubblefield says the team could face some major infractions, including penalties like fines, coaching suspensions and even losing out on their recruits.

"That could potentially render them ineligible to compete at that particular institution," Stubblefield said.

Keep in mind, these are all allegations right now.  After the investigation is complete, the case will go to the Committee of Infractions, where the NCAA will determine whether or not to issue penalties.

An investigation like this could take several months.

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