Herm Edwards is a 63-year-old OG NFL head coach whose passion for coaching led him to Arizona State University after years away from the game as a flourishing NFL analyst and personality.
People wondered how Edwards old school style would mesh with 18, 19 and 20-year-old ballers. From the looks of things, Edwards isnt trying to adjust to the new breed at all. Hes actually formulated a new school plan based on an old-fashioned merit system, saying he will run his program like its an NFL franchise.
VIDEO:New #ASU head coach Herm Edwards, leading the Sun Devils through spring practice for the first time, talks about yelling and cursing, player leadership and Friday night practices https://t.co/475Dkieudu
The Shadow League reported on this unique implementation when Herm was hired back in December of 2017:
Arizona State named Herm Edwards as its new football coach, announcing that it is taking a new NFL approach to building a college football program and sharing its plans for a “general manager structure” within the Sun Devils program.
“The department’s New Leadership Model will be similar to an NFL approach using a general manager structure,” the school said in a statement. “It’s a collaborative approach to managing the ASU football program that includes sport and administrative divisions, which will operate as distinct, but collective units focused on elevating all aspects of Sun Devil Football.
This structure will allow the department to form a multi-layered method to the talent evaluation and recruiting processes, increase its emphasis on both student-athlete and coach development and retention, and provide a boost in resource allocation and generation.”
Edwards will lead the charge as “a head coach who serves as a CEO,” according to athletic director Ray Anderson, Edwards’ former NFL agent.
VIDEO: A look at the first spring football session for new coach Herm Edwards at #ASU https://t.co/AnxmYuT2ul
Thats exactly how Herm is doing it so far this Spring.
According to azcentral.com, “Edwards told his players before they began the fourth week of spring practice that cuts likely are coming, including to some with scholarships if performance dictates after the spring game April 13.”
Its an eye-opener for everyone involved and it doesnt mesh well with the recent attitudes towards the NCAA and how it callously treats student-athletes as a big business, but ASU has an 18-20 record over the last three seasons and the Sun Devils havent been an elite program since the glory days of Jake The Snake Plummer.
Edwards is here to reconstruct the football program and raise the profile of ASU athletics overall and this is the first step to changing the game and creating a higher level of accountability.
Edwards, an NFL head coach for eight years, told reporters that any scholarship players who are cut would retain their financial aid if they opt to stay at ASU as a student.
You’re going to find whether you continue to be part of it or not.” Herm Edwards says he might cut Arizona State players after spring practice: https://t.co/9HIDyrxvk5
Youre accountable to compete every day, Edwards said. You dont lose your scholarship, you lose the ability to play. Its always worked that way in football. Thats how you become a competitive team. You want to get in the two-deep. You should want to play. You dont want to sit four years and sit the bench.
Herm’s way of “playing to win the game.”
I told some guys who continue to stay in the training room, youve got no tape,” Edwards continued. “I cant grade you if youre not on tape. All of a sudden, guys got well. Its amazing. Sometimes these players think with 85 scholarships, Im good. Youre not good. Youve earned a scholarship because of your ability to be a student-athlete. Its a combination of both. When you dont meet that standard, there are consequences. Consequences are sometimes tough. If I dont apply those consequences, then Im not doing my job as head coach.
Will Edwards enhance his legacy and make this a model for other college programs to follow? Or will trying to further corporatize an amateur sport and stripping kids of their football privileges for not tackling hard enough render his ambitious plan a failure?
The only certainty at this point is that Herm is going to go out doing it his way.