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Arizona State on verge of expensive buyout of Herm Edwards
Arizona State Sun Devils head coach Herm Edwards was let go immediately after the Sun Devils loss to Eastern Michigan. (Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports)

Arizona State on verge of expensive buyout of Herm Edwards

TEMPE, Ariz. (BVM) – Arizona State became the fourth Power 5 football program to get upset by a nonP5 school and pay a lot of money to lose this season. On Saturday, the Sun Devils paid Eastern Michigan $1.5 million to beat them 31-20 in Tempe. To make matters worse, ASU athletic director Ray Anderson and president Michael Crow met head coach Herm Edwards on the field following the loss to the Eagles to inform him he was being fired. 

That put an end to the Herm Edwards era at Arizona State that has cost the school a lot of money. ASU originally paid former head coach Todd Graham $12.8 million in a buyout in 2017 to be able to hire Edwards. They then signed Edwards to a five-year contract that had a base salary of $2 million with a $250,000 raise each season. 

The Sun Devils then doubled down on Edwards in 2020 and signed him to a two-year contract extension that would have had Edwards coach ASU until 2024. The extension increased his base salary to $3 million in 2020 with a $200,000 raise each season.

Herm Edwards ASU Arizona State Sun Devils Eastern Michigan Eagles Herm Edwards fired
Herm Edwards and ASU went 26-20 during his time as head coach. (Credit: Joe Rondone/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK)

However, the team went 2-2 during the covidshortened 2020 season. Then last season, ASU went 8-5 and 6-3 in the Pac-12. The season ended in a 20-13 loss to Wisconsin in the Las Vegas Bowl. The team is also under an NCAA investigation that cost the Sun Devils key starters and five full-time coaches.

This season has not gotten off to a good start either. After beating Northern Arizona 40-3, the Sun Devils lost 34-17 to Oklahoma State. Then came the Eastern Michigan loss, leading to Edwards’ firing. Edwards finished his ASU career with a 26-20 record and one bowl win.  

Arizona State is now looking at a possible buyout of $8.3 million to move on from Edwards but there is a chance they could avoid the buyout due to the NCAA investigation. ASU would have fired him for cause and Edwards would owe Arizona State $75,000. 

Whether they have to buy him out or not, the Herm Edwards era has already cost ASU at least $23.25 million via the buyout of Todd Graham and Edwards’ contract through 2021. The $1.5 million to lose to Eastern Michigan at home is just a cherry on top.