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Did Arizona State have the craziest last month of news in all of college football?

© Megan Mendoza/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

Game day is finally here for the Arizona State football team after what felt like a rollercoaster of news for a month straight.

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The Sun Devils and first-year coach Kenny Dillingham began fall camp exactly one month ago on July 31.

Since, the Sun Devils have been hit with headlines left and right with some of the news being program-altering.

Let’s recap with a timeline of the biggest storylines to hit the program:

July 31: ASU starts fall camp

ASU’s first fall camp under Kenny Dillingham gets underway amidst the uncertainty of the Pac-12 after Colorado’s departure. 

The biggest thing to watch in the fall was the quarterback competition between returning starting junior QB Trenton Bourguet, Notre Dame sophomore transfer Drew Pyne and highly-touted freshman Jaden Rashada.

Key Takeaways: ASU coaches, players recap first day of fall camp

Aug. 1: Pac-12 schools presented first ever TV rights deal proposition

Apple presented the nine remaining schools their first TV rights deal after over a year of negotiations. The deal was primarily streaming and was in the low-$20 million range. It was certainly not a good first offer after waiting so long for a deal, which left a lot of speculation of if the Pac-12 could still survive.

The rollercoaster of the last two days of realignment, Pac-12 and ASU future news

Aug. 2: Sun Devil Stadium renamed Mountain America Stadium

In a move that not a lot of fans were unhappy with, Arizona State University’s athletic department announced they were entering in a 15-year partnership with Mountain America to rename their football stadium to “Mountain America Stadium, Home of the ASU Sun Devils.” The deal will reportedly be worth $50 million over the 15 years.

This is the first time the football stadium will be named anything other than Sun Devil Stadium.

Sun Devil Stadium being renamed to “Mountain America Stadium, Home of the ASU Sun Devils”

Aug. 2: Ray Anderson comments publicly on the state of the Pac-12 after stadium-name change

Immediately following the name change, VP of University Athletics, Ray Anderson, met with the media in which he discussed the state of the Pac-12 and ASU’s future.

Anderson said he couldn’t say much on the recent situations, but said that “we (ASU) are in a pretty good spot.”

His comments left a lot of speculation if ASU was committed to the Pac-12 anymore, which ASU had been always up until this point.

BREAKING: Arizona State athletic director Ray Anderson comments on state of Pac-12 and ASU’s future

Aug. 3: ASU delays decision to jump to Big 12 after ABOR meeting

Arizona State reportedly delays a move to the Big 12 after it did not come to a definitive conclusion at an Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) meeting, hoping for a last ditch effort to save what’s left of the Pac-12. Its counterpart, Arizona, is expected to have a deal finalized soon with the Big 12.

ASU reportedly delays decision to jump to Big 12, Arizona expected to make move

Aug. 4: Pac-12 fails to sign Grant of Rights for TV deal at a last-chance meeting

After the ABOR meeting, the remaining Pac-12 schools held an early-morning meeting to try to get a deal signed. No deal ended up getting signed, although some schools, like ASU, had optimism going into the meeting.

As ASU President Michael Crow pointed out the next day, Washington and Oregon did not attend the meeting. After a no show from the two schools and no deal being signed, the conference was ready to implode at any moment.

Pac-12 fails to sign Grant of Rights at last-chance meeting

Aug. 4: Washington and Oregon announce they are joining Big Ten

Just hours after this meeting, Washington and Oregon announced they were moving to the Big Ten, putting the final nail in the coffin of what was left of the Pac-12.

BREAKING: Oregon and Washington put final nail in coffin for Pac-12 and join Big Ten

Aug. 4: ASU Moves to Big 12

Later this day, ASU applied and was accepted to go to the Big 12. They made the move official shortly after 6 p.m. MST.

BREAKING: ASU, Arizona officially join the Big 12

Aug. 5: Ray Anderson, Michael Crow and Kenny Dillingham speak on Big 12 move

The next day at football practice, Ray Anderson, Michael Crow and Kenny Dillingham all met with the media to discuss the move. They all had some pretty interesting things to say, the most noteworthy of which being:

Crow: “We were the stalwarts fighting for the Pac-12 till the last ditch.”

Anderson: “I promise I’m not going to Morgantown.”

Dillingham: Expressed excitement about the move and was ready to attack recruiting in Texas

BREAKING: Michael Crow and Ray Anderson meet with media, key takeways

WATCH: Kenny Dillingham, QB interviews after first week of fall camp, Big 12 move

Aug. 5, Aug. 6: ASU lands two Texas recruits in two days after Big 12 jump

Two class of 2025 defensive backs, Joseph Smith and Joseph Albright, both verbally committed to ASU in the two days after it made the move to the Big 12.

Arizona State lands commitment from 2025 TX ATH Joseph Smith

Arizona State lands commitment from Joseph Albright, another class of 2025 Texas DB

Aug. 7: ASU dismisses two players from the team in less than a week

Arizona State dismissed potential starting linebacker Juwan Mitchell (now at Colorado) just a few days after Dillingham also kicked cornerback Isaiah Johnson off the team.

“Culture wins,” Dillingham said in regards to Mitchell’s dismissal. “It’s very, very simple. Culture wins. You’re either going to practice how we practice, live how we live, be a good person, compete, say ‘yes sir,’ say ‘no sir,’ open doors for people. Be genuinely a good person and do things right, or you’re not. It’s really, really not hard just to be a good person.”

Arizona State dismisses new LB Juwan Mitchell

Aug. 9: Ray Anderson apologizes for Morgantown comment

After facing a lot of backlash for his statement of “I promise I’m not going to Morgantown” after it went viral online, Anderson publicly apologized for the comment. He added that he had already called West Virginia athletic director Wren Baker to personally apologize.

“Although those comments were said in jest and taken out of context, they were clumsy comments from me that I sincerely regret,” Anderson said. “Because I offended some people when no offense was intended and for that, I apologize. I sincerely do.”

Arizona State AD Ray Anderson apologizes for Morgantown comment

Aug. 9: Sun Devils head up to Camp T for first time since 2019

For the first time since 2019, the football team went up north to Camp Tontozona, marking a significant move in the Dilllingham’s first year of being the head coach. The Sun Devils are only one of a few teams across the country that practice off-site anymore.

ASU Football heads up to Camp Tontozona

Aug. 10: WR Jake Smith denied eligibility by NCAA

Arizona State wide receiver Jake Smith, who won the 2018-19 Gatorade National Football Player of the Year at Notre Dame Prep, was denied eligibility for the 2023 season by the NCAA after transferring from USC to ASU in January.

Dillingham voiced his frustration with the ruling:

“I think it’s ridiculous. To be honest. I think it’s a kid who’s an unbelievable kid who went through a lot. And college football is supposed to be about helping kids achieve their dreams, helping them become young men, and that’s very disappointing. I think this game helps Jake Smith. I think Jake Smith’s last six months here, growing and maturing as a young man who’s had a lot of ups and downs, and who was at a high in his life right now.”

“For him to have to face that when he’s on an upward trajectory is the opposite of what college athletics is supposed to be because it should be about helping the student athlete. And I think that decision is hurting our student athlete. And I think it’s not just hurting ours. I think there’s other kids around the country. And I understand there’s people that take advantage of rules and try to manipulate the system and poor taste, but at the same token, that’s part of life people are always gonna manipulate whatever rules you have. There’s nothing you can do about it. So you better do right to the people who are doing it right. And Jake Smith does it right.”

NCAA denies ASU WR Jake Smith’s transfer waiver

Kenny Dillingham comments on NCAA declaring Jake Smith ineligible

Aug. 12: Drew Pyne injures hamstring during Camp T scrimmage

During the traditional Saturday Camp T scrimmage open to the public, Notre Dame transfer QB Drew Pyne went down with a hamstring injury.

He suffered a “little minor hamstring tear,” Dillingham said after the scrimmage. He injured himself on a scramble to the sideline, when he slipped running out of bounds.

Pyne had been making significant noise in the QB competition. The team’s first official depth chart lists Pyne as injured still.

ASU QB Drew Pyne, DB Montana Warren suffer injuries at Camp T

Aug. 16: Jaden Rashada suddenly making serious noise in the quarterback competition

After only three practices with the first-team, freshman QB Jaden Rashada was suddenly making serious noise in ASU’s QB competition. This report followed a good performance during the team’s last scrimmage on Aug. 16.

Evaluating the Arizona State quarterback battle

Aug. 22: Jaden Rashada named Week One starting QB

Rashada was named the starting quarterback for Arizona State’s season opener against Southern Utah after only having just over a week of meaningful first-team reps.

“He gotten better every single day,” Dillingham said. “His completion percentage in the last week and a half of practice skyrocketed. You saw the comfort. And then, his ability to throw the ball down the field is definitely a huge compliment to what we can do offensively. But in reality, he just kept getting better every day, and he earned it.”

BREAKING: Jaden Rashada named starting QB for ASU’s season opener

Aug. 27: ASU self-imposes bowl ban

Just when it looked like all of the news had finally gone by, the Arizona State football team self-imposed a bowl ban for the 2023 season due to recruiting violations during the Herm Edwards era just four days before its season opener.

Anderson released a statement in which he stated: “Arizona State University has informed the NCAA and Pac-12 conference that it will self-impose a one-year postseason ban on its football program for the upcoming season. In light of the ongoing investigation and our membership obligation to maintain the confidentiality of the matter, we will not be commenting further at this time.”

BREAKING: ASU football self-imposes bowl ban

Aug. 27: ASU coaches and players express strong displeasure with bowl ban

“I knew today would be sh**ty when they receive horrible news on the Tuesday practice in the morning before we meet for special teams,” ASU coach Kenny Dillingham said immediately following practice. “So to think that 18-22 year olds are gonna go out and have a good Tuesday practices is absolutely delusional. But I think the guys battled. The guys did the best they could do.”

ASU coach, players express strong displeasure with team’s self-imposed bowl ban

Aug. 27 – until now: Fans are fed up with Ray Anderson being ASU’s athletics director

Now more than ever, fans want Anderson gone from the school. They have expressed great disappointment with how he handled the recruiting violations, which ended with a bowl ban in Dillingham’s first year as coach.

TRENDING: ASU fans want Ray Anderson gone

Even today, fans are planning to advocate for firing Anderson.

Aug. 29: ASU releases statement of clarity on bowl ban

Following Arizona State’s self-imposed bowl ban that was announced Sunday, the school released a list of bullet points of clarification.


Regarding ASU’s self-imposed bowl ban, please note the following:

*  The deadline for ASU undergraduate student athletes to enter the transfer portal was in April 2023.

*  The NCAA case involving the University of Tennessee, which was particularly relevant to ASU’s case, was pending until the Committee on Infractions announced its decision on July 14, 2023.

*  In the University of Tennessee case the NCAA Committee on Infractions imposed “an enhanced financial penalty” of $8 million in lieu of a postseason competition ban.  It also required enhanced recruiting penalties, e.g., a 120-day reduction of evaluation days (28 fall days and 92 spring days), a 40-week reduction of unofficial visits, a loss of 28 scholarships, and a 28-week “reduction of communications” with recruits, i.e., no communications.

*  ASU believes that if recruiting penalties of the type set out in the Tennessee case were applied to ASU, such penalties would seriously impair Coach Dillingham’s ability to build ASU’s football program.

*  ASU self-imposed a postseason ban to help pave the way for program stability and greater clarity going forward.”

ASU releases statement of clarification on self-imposed bowl ban

Aug. 29: Arizona House of Representatives writes letter to NCAA in regards to their denial of ASU WR Jake Smith’s transfer waiver

A bipartisan group of legislators from the Arizona House of Representatives wrote a letter to the NCAA to try to get them to consider overturning the denial of ASU WR Jake Smith’s transfer waiver.

Arizona House of Representatives writes letter to NCAA in regards to their denial of ASU WR Jake Smith’s transfer waiver

Aug. 31: Game day finally here

The Kenny Dillingham era at ASU will kick off tonight at 7:00 p.m. MST at Mountain America Stadium against Southern Utah.

Can Arizona State put all of this adversity behind them and go out and play?

“To me, the adversity is behind us,” Dillingham said Monday. “It is like I told our team, like, I said we’re going to give everyone one day—get your feelings out, including me, get it out. Get it off your chest, get it out there. Let’s move on because that’s what it’s about. We’re not just going to say something and get over it instantly, that is not real. We can act like that’s real but it’s not. Like give yourself a day and move on.

“So to Sun Devil Nation it’s “move on.” Let’s move on. Let’s show support for the team because that’s what this is about. It’s about the athletes. It’s not about me. It’s not about anybody else in the organization. It’s not about Coach (Charlie) Ragle. It’s not about Coach (Jason) Mohns. It’s not about Coach (Ra’Shaad) Samples. It’s not about somebody in the athletic organization. It’s not about somebody who works on the other side of campus. This is about the 120 kids—116 kids— that are on the football team,  Support them. Come out—support them. Cheer. Be loud. Show that it matters, show that you care. Show that we are working in the right direction to get this place where everybody wants to go to.”

Here’s some of our preview stories on the season opener:

What to know about ASU football’s season opener

Prediction and key questions to answer for ASU’s season opener vs. Southern Utah

All of these headlines bring into question: Did the Arizona State football team have the craziest last month of news in all of college football?

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Brendan Mau is a college sports insider and general assignment reporter for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on X via @Brendan_Mau

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