ASU puts Adam Breneman on leave amid football probe

Arizona State is facing NCAA scrutiny over alleged recruiting violations stemming from last year. (Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The NCAA investigation into Arizona State’s football program is expanding, as sources confirmed to Yahoo Sports that the organization has begun reaching out to recruits mentioned in the dossier of documents that detailed potential recruiting violations in the Sun Devils’ program.

Yahoo Sports has learned that Mark Strothkamp, a veteran of NCAA enforcement, is looking into the case. The first personnel move tied to the Arizona State case has occurred, as sources told Yahoo Sports that ASU tight ends coach Adam Breneman was placed on paid administrative leave on July 16.

Breneman is one of the 10 ASU coaches and staffers mentioned by the anonymous author of the dossier that Yahoo Sports viewed and reported on June 23.

The dossier encouraged the NCAA to investigate ASU coaches for alleged violations that included flouting COVID-19 rules during an NCAA mandated recruiting dead period and bringing recruits to campus when they were explicitly banned.

The allegations tied to Breneman are among the most specific in the document. They include email screen shots and receipts of Breneman allegedly paying $596.20 for a recruit to visit the Tempe campus from Philadelphia. It includes a receipt with a credit card number alleged to be Breneman’s.

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The American Airlines ticket was purchased last year on July 24 for a trip on July 25. The passenger’s name listed is the recruit and Breneman forwarded the recruit the email from his personal Gmail account. That recruit did not end up attending Arizona State.

As Yahoo Sports reported in June, Breneman was a graduate assistant at the time he purc hased the ticket. A move to spend nearly $600 to fly a recruit across the country is typically not made at that level. Sources told Yahoo that Breneman was among the coaches who fell in line with associate head coach Antonio Pierce’s aggressive recruiting tactics, which caused a fissure in the staff.

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Arizona State has declined comment in the past on these issues, with the university’s public relations department insisting that it isn’t allowed to comment on an ongoing NCAA investigation. Head coach Herm Edwards has yet to address the topic, but he’s scheduled to appear at the school’s media day Tuesday.

Breneman isn’t the only ASU coach implicated in the document. Wide receivers coach Prentice Gill is alleged, via screenshots, to have purchased a ticket for a recruit from Missouri to visit Tempe. There’s also a screenshot that alleges defensive backs coach Chris Hawkins helped arrange travel for a recruit, which was allegedly purchased by Regina Jackson, the mother of star quarterback Jayden Daniels, for a recruiting trip. (All denied any wrongdoing to Yahoo Sports in June.)

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