Herm Edwards is already facing plenty of doubters, not to mention adversity, as he tries to coach at Arizona State in his first college season since 1989. Early moments from Herm on the job have been both bizarre and kind of adorably weird, and at a press conference yesterday where he talked about potentially cutting some of his scholarship players, he continued to confuse. AZ Central has the full relevant video below:
Two positives, before we get to the weirdness: For one, these answers sound a bit like a guy trying to sound tough without really knowing where his sentences are going, as seen most clearly when a reporter asks what exactly the roster status of these cut guys would be. For two, Herm does make it clear that he won’t be yanking scholarships—as in, forcing players to leave school—but he’s talking more about the threat of taking scholarship players off the football team.
But at the same time, Herm has a bit of a galaxy-brain take for why he has the leverage in this situation and seems fine with not taking advantage of all the roster spots the NCAA allows:
“How many guys actually play in the game? Do 85 guys play? If you do the math, 45 players generally play in a football game. That’s the ones and the twos and some special teams guys. That’s the truth. I’m not making it up,” Edwards said.
Ignoring the value of the non-playing spots just seems like some goofy old-school coaching, though—chalk it up as a motivational tactic. What’s legitimately worrying is this bit, which seems to imply that Edwards threatened injured players with the cuts if they didn’t get back out on the practice field:
“I told some guys if you continue to stay hurt, continue to stay in the training room, you have no tape. I can’t grade you if you’re not on tape. I can’t grade you in the training room. And all of a sudden some guys got well. It’s amazing.”
If true, that’s actually pretty fucked up. This is going to be a weird, weird year at ASU.