Arizona State University president Michael Crow shifted responsibility away from Sun Devils head football coach Herm Edwards on Wednesday and placed blame on former football staffers for the ongoing NCAA investigation into the program’s recruiting practices.

Crow, who spoke with Arizona Sports’ Bickley & Marotta as part of Newsmakers Week, said Edwards “did not ask” his five departed assistants to break recruiting rules — the allegations involve ASU allowing football recruits to visit campus and meet with staff during a dead period caused by the pandemic.

“In all of these things where you have people who decide not to play by the rules, those people are gone,” Crow said when asked why Edwards is still leading the football team. “Now we’re looking at what went wrong and why that happened, so we’re still in the thick of that. Coach Edwards has done an outstanding job of upgrading our overall program. We got this (group) of people who decided to not play by the rules relative to recruiting.

“So we’ll be looking to how we make improvements so forth and so on, but Coach Edwards is responsible for all the actions of all of his people, but these are things he did not ask them to do. These are not things he was a part of. We’re looking at everything possible. He’s brought a lot of talent, energy and creativity. Now we’re dealing with people who couldn’t play by the rules and now they’re gone.”

Crow estimated that a resolution to the investigation could still be 10 months to a year away.