NCAA sanctions against Arizona State football: What we know, what comes next

The Arizona State football program can finally put the mistakes of the past regime behind it and proceed.

Last week, the NCAA announced the program and four individuals who previously worked for it have reached an agreement with the NCAA enforcement staff on recruiting violations that occurred and the appropriate penalties for those violations. The investigation lasted three years and revolved around ASU staff having recruits on campus and making visits during a "dead period" that was the result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Two individuals are contesting portions of their respective cases. After hearing takes place and the cases are resolved, the committee will release its full decision with more details.

Just what does it all mean? Here's what we know, and don't, about the NCAA sanctions as of now.

Repeat offender: Arizona State now most penalized school in NCAA history after ASU football violations

What does the 'probation' mean?

ASU was given a four-year probation but that does not mean a bowl ban. It means that if there were to be more violations or misconduct in the next four years the penalties could be more severe because the school would be a "repeat offender." ASU self-imposed a one-year bowl ban in 2023 and a future bowl ban is not among the future sanctions.

What wins will be vacated?

Ten wins over the 2021 and 2022 seasons are being vacated due to the use of ineligible players. Those wins now turn into losses in the record books. The team went 8-5 in 2021 and all eight of those wins now will become losses. Those games were against Southern Utah, UNLV, Colorado, UCLA, Stanford, USC, Washington and Arizona. The team went 3-9 in 2022 and two of those wins are vacated, the 45-38 upset win over Washington and the 42-34 win over Colorado. Those two wins came after Herm Edwards departed and Shaun Aguano was serving as interim coach. The 40-3 win over Northern Arizona in the season opener will stand. The 70-7 win over Arizona came at the end of the 2020 season, so that stands.

More: ASU's Michael Crow under fire after Herm Edwards show-cause report, $4.4 million payout

What is a 'Show Cause?'

Four former ASU coaches have been given a "show cause" sanction. This means that for the duration of the order, any school that hires a coach under that sanction will have to "show cause" as to why the school should not be sanctioned by the NCAA. Basically, a coach that is sanctioned carries with him those sanctions to a new school if hired within the sanction time frame, which pretty much makes them unhireable. The NCAA has not announced who those four coaches are and a representative from the NCAA says that is among the details that will be disclosed once the cases involving two coaches are resolved.

Speculation has centered on former head coach Herm Edwards and former recruiting coordinator and defensive coordinator Antonio Pierce as likely among the four individuals, but the penalty wouldn't likely have an immediate effect on either. Edwards went back to his role as an analyst for ESPN while Pierce is now the head coach of the NFL's Las Vegas Raiders. Four other coaches departed or were fired when the investigation came to light.

Opinion: Radical changes needed in ASU athletic department

What is a Level 1 violation?

The NCAA has four "levels" of violation. The school was found guilty of Level 1 violations, the most serious. The NCAA describes Level 1 as those "that seriously undermines or threatens the integrity of the NCAA Collegiate Model, as outlined in the bylaws, including any violation that provides or is intended to provide a substantial or extensive recruiting, competitive or other advantage, or a substantial or extensive impermissible benefit."

The scale goes down to Level IV violations, which are considered isolated and technical and result in a negligible competitive advantage. Violations at this level typically don’t affect intercollegiate athletic eligibility.

What about the other penalties?

ASU was also assessed a fine and it will have scholarship reductions over the next two years. Those details are also among the facts that will be disclosed when the cases against the other two coaches are settled. The scholarship reductions are not believed to be an overwhelming number, a few per year.

Perhaps the most impactful penalty will be a restriction on days the staff will be allowed to go out on the road and recruit or bring visitors to campus. That number has not been released yet. One of the pre-emptive moves ASU took on its own was to limit its staff's road time last fall. That could mitigate that measure of the penalty handed down by the committee that.

Sanction is another black mark on athletics program

The ASU athletic department has now been penalized 10 times by the NCAA for major infractions, according to the NCAA Legislative Services database, tying Southern Methodist for the top spot on the list. No other school has been penalized more in the history of the NCAA. The first set of violations came back in 1954.

This is the fifth time football has been the culprit. Men's track and field has been the violator in three cases. Baseball is a two-time offender. The 1985 case had multiple ASU sports mentioned: baseball, wrestling and men's gymnastics.

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: NCAA sanctions against Arizona State football: Here's what we know