As Arizona State’s search for Dennis Erickson’s replacement continues, a growing number of former Sun Devil players are going public with their concerns for where the direction of the program is headed following a 6-6 season and trip to the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas on December 22.
The University announced the firing of Erickson on November 28, just three days after the Devils dropped their fourth-straight in an ugly 47-38 home loss to Cal.
After Vice President for Athletics Lisa Love dismissed Erickson, several names have surfaced for the vacancy in Tempe and ASU was on the verge of hiring SMU’s June Jones Wednesday before the deal was pulled off the table just hours later.
It has also brought into focus an apparent dis-connect between some former players and the school over the past decade.
“When the (Dirk) Koetter staff was there…I came back a few times and just didn’t feel welcome,” former Sun Devil standout running back and Super Bowl Champion JR Redmond told Brad Cesmat on “Big Guy on Sports” Friday. “(It) didn’t feel like it was ok for me to be there. It didn’t feel like it was ok for me to talk to the younger players. They wanted to create something new that had nothing to do with the legacy or history of ASU.”
Former ASU running back and Super Bowl champ JR Redmond on ‘Big Guy on Sports’
Redmond and other past Sun Devils have formed the ASU Legacy Committee in an attempt to re-connect with the present administration.
One thing he believes the program needs is an infusion of toughness, which he experienced when the Devils held pre-season camp outside Payson and not on campus as they do today.
“I’ll never forget Camp Tontozona,” Redmond explained to Cesmat. “Going up there as a freshman not knowing what to expect, but coming out of there feeling like a family. Feeling the chemistry…feeling the heart. I don’t see it anymore in our program. Where is the heart at?”
Redmond played at ASU under late head coach Bruce Snyder from 1996-2000 before spending five years in the NFL