The appeal of hiring Herm Edwards at Arizona State was that he would install an NFL-style structure in Tempe. One aspect of NFL culture no one expected Edwards to carry over, but one he's apparently bringing with him, is roster cuts.
"There was a message sent earlier in (a team) meeting, and the message was very clear, that we were in the process of evaluating players. Between now and next week you're going to find out the situation here and whether you're going to continue to be part of it or not. I told them that when I first took the job and that's the way we be honest with guys," he said.
"I told some guys, if you continue to stay hurt, stay in the training room, you have no tape. I can't grade you if you're not on tape. All of a sudden some guys got well. It's amazing.
"College football's one of those unique sports where you give out 85 scholarships and players just think, 'Well, it's 85 scholarships. I'm good.' No, you're not good. You've earned your scholarship because of your ability to be a student-athlete, you've got to make sure you handle that part of the assignment, being a student part and being an athlete part. It's a combination of both. If you don't meet that standard, there's consequences. Consequences are sometimes tough. If I don't apply those consequences, then I'm not doing my job as a head coach.
Though the terms he uses and the frankness with which he speaks are different than his peers, there's nothing revolutionary in what Edwards says here. Plenty of new head coaches find reasons to nudge players off the rosters they inherited, but most just don't put it in those terms. It's often framed as a shortcoming on the player's part -- recall Charlie Strong dismissing nine players in his first nine months at Texas -- and/or he's strongly encouraged to transfer. Rarely is it laid out as bare as, "You're just not good enough to be on this team any longer."
Edwards said players cut from the team would remain on scholarship at Arizona State, they just wouldn't be Sun Devils football players. "You don't lose your scholarship," he said. "You lose the ability to play. That's how it works."
— azcentral (@azcentral) April 4, 2018