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Herm Edwards Threatens to Cut Players at Arizona State

Edwards is trying to put his stamp on his program

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NCAA Football: Arizona State-Spring Practice Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

Should college football coaches be able to cut players? Tough question right? Herm Edwards, head coach of the Arizona State Sun Devils is doubling down on that very thought right now.

Coach Edwards has made it public that he is willing to cut some of his players who are not performing up to his coaching staff’s standards. Before starting their fourth week of spring practice, Edwards put his players on notice that cuts are likely coming after spring ball has concluded with the Spring Game on April 13.

“There was a message sent, and the message was very clear that we’re in the process of evaluating players between now and next week.” Edwards said to the media. (

NCAA Football: Arizona State-Spring Practice Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

Is this a fair thing to put on college kids?

I don’t think so.

When Coach Edwards came to Tempe he came without any college coaching experience for the past 30 years or so. The idea of hiring Herm Edwards was strange at best.

Athletic Director, Ray Anderson overhauled how Arizona State functioned as a football program. Anderson’s idea was to bring in an old friend to achieve this change.

Arizona State has a more professional football way of running its program now. Herm is the CEO and he talks about delegating responsibility to his coaches. He also talked about “coaching the coaches”.

If Coach Edwards wants to cut players, it would appear that he needs to coach his coaches better.

I get the whole “this is how the real world operates” and “this is about tough love”, but we are still talking about college players. These are young adults that still haven’t learned all the complexities of the game yet.

They haven’t learned what it takes physically and mentally to play at the Division One level. It’s a maturation process with college athletes and some players will be turned away that may have turned out to be a pretty good player.

Do we really want to kill the dreams of young adult at 20 or 21 years of age?

These players need to be coached up. The players need to be taught and given reps to help them along with their techniques at any given position. Part of being a major college coach is getting your players to realize their full potential. By sending these players on their way because they are not “living up to expectations” is simply premature.

It’s college, not the NFL.

Herm Edwards has stated that if any player is cut that player will maintain their financial aid with the university. On top of that, if said player wants to transfer, Coach Edwards has stated that he will help them transfer to another school.

To say the least, many of the Sun Devil players have bought into the new regimes way of doing business. Manny Wilkins, starting quarterback for the Sun Devils, stated his opinion on this matter.

NCAA Football: Arizona at Arizona State Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

“It’s going to be a rude awakening when they go from student-athlete to student. I think that’s how it’s has to be. There’s got to be competition at every single point.” Manny Wilkins said. (

Offensive lineman, Zach Robertson, echoed Wilkins sentiments.

“It creates motivation. A little motivation is always good for everybody, no matter if your N’Keal Harry or a walk-on.” Robertson stated. (

I’m not surprised by Wilkins comments. Wilkins is starter, he wants to be the starter, and he has skin in the game. What would be interesting would be if a veteran starter stated that he didn’t think this was the course to take. In other words, call the bluff of Coach Edwards.

It won’t happen though. Players want to play, so players toe the company line.

At the end of the day, Herm Edwards is trying to run his program the way that he stated at his introductory press conference. However, for me, possibly cutting college players is not the way to operate.

I believe by cutting college players, it says more about your coaching abilities than anything.