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Evidence backs up allegations of recruiting violations at Arizona State

Nov 7, 2020;  Los Angeles CA, USA; Arizona State Sun Devils head coach Herm Edwards walks off the field after the game against the Southern California Trojans  at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. USC defeated Arizona State 28-27.  Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 7, 2020; Los Angeles CA, USA; Arizona State Sun Devils head coach Herm Edwards walks off the field after the game against the Southern California Trojans at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. USC defeated Arizona State 28-27. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Evidence that could prove the Arizona State football program committed multiple recruiting violations includes a track record of plane tickets purchased for players’ travel to the Phoenix area, Yahoo Sports reported Thursday.

The report detailed the contents of a dossier of documents that an informant sent to officials at both the university and NCAA on May 31. One document lists numerous allegations of recruiting violations, along with the names of 10 Sun Devils staff members to investigate and 13 prospects who were on campus during the NCAA’s mandated COVID-19 dead period between last spring and June 1, 2021.

Head coach Herm Edwards is among those alleged to have broken the rules, and is purportedly shown in a photograph showing a recruit around the weight room in February, though the identities of the individuals in the photo couldn’t be verified immediately.

Yahoo Sports said “multiple former staff members” have agreed to cooperate with the NCAA in its investigation into the Sun Devils.

The dossier includes screen shots of emails allegedly sent by Regina Jackson, the mother of quarterback Jayden Daniels, to assistant coaches that detail the airline itineraries for three recruits from Florida and their chaperones for a trip to Arizona State. The airfare totaled more than $1,100, and the documentation shows that Jackson paid for the trips on her credit card, per Yahoo Sports.

Daniels is not accused of any wrongdoing.

His mother, in conversations with Yahoo Sports, denied paying for the recruits’ travel. She said she received a notice in March that her Google email account had been “compromised” and she canceled her credit card after learning flights had been charged to it.

“It’s unfortunate,” Jackson said. “My credit card company notified me of the charges and they sent me a new card. They charged everything back because they realized it wasn’t me.”

She added she does no recruiting on behalf of the university.

Other allegations in the dossier include a meeting in a “private office” between Edwards and two assistant coaches. That player signed with Arizona State.

Also highlighted in the Yahoo Sports report is the existence of a group text chat between almost a dozen staff members who “communicated regularly on group text about the allegedly illicit activities in the program,” adding “it was used as a real-time exclamation of the disbelief of what was happening in the program” and what they were able to do.

Arizona State finished 2-2 in the 2020 season amid cancellations due to a COVID-19 outbreak in the Sun Devils program and virus issues with some of their Pac-12 opponents.

The school hired Edwards before the 2018 season, and the former NFL head coach has a 17-13 record with the Sun Devils.

–Field Level Media