Recruiting and Reputation: ASU's two biggest post-season obstacles

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 09: Head coach Herb Sendeck of the Arizona State Sun Devils calls out in the first half against the Oregon Ducks in the first round of the 2011 Pacific Life Pac-10 Men's Basketball Tournament at Staples Center on March 9, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

It seems that almost everyone in the two major Division 1 sports makes the post-season.

There are 70 football teams playing in bowl games and 68 teams playing in the NCAA tournament, yet the postseason seems to have eluded recent Arizona State teams.

ASU’s football team has not been to a bowl game since 2007 while the basketball team has only made it to the big dance four times in the past 20 years.

The postseason is often thought of as a reward for a well played season, but the standards continue to decline for both football and basketball. A football team only needs to finish .500 to go bowling and the NCAA has added more teams to the tournament.

It seems that the NCAA is continually trying to add more teams to the postseason, so they can make money, but the Sun Devils are still unable to compete. Finishing .500 in football or having a better basketball resume than Virginia Commonwealth should not be that hard of a task, but apparently it is.

The Pac-10 and the state of Arizona are both a desirable conference and state for high school standouts, meaning the coaches should be able to recruit.

But apparently, they are not able to.

Although ASU is often referred to as a party school, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing considering you are trying to recruit high school athletes, is should still be considered a desirable place.

The Pac-10, albeit not the SEC in football or the Big East in basketball, is one of the six major conferences and is also a great conference to play in.

Arizona State may have the resources necessary to recruit, but they do not have the reputation, the prestige, or the in-state influence necessary to win.

While Sun Devils fans may not appreciate the truth, ASU will not win consistently until it builds a winning reputation.

Potential athletes want to go to a place where they know they will win. Kids want to go to bowl games and play basketball in March, plain and simple.

Until ASU is able to consistently win, they will not be thought of as winners and kids will not be lining up to play collegiate athletics in Tempe, Ariz.

The other problem with the lack of success is the recruiting itself. ASU is seemingly unable to recruit local kids well.

With the exception of Jahii Carson, a 2011 basketball recruit, ASU constantly loses out on some of the top players in the state.

If the Sun Devils are unable to recruit their own backyard, how can fans expect them to have any sort of recruiting power across the nation?

Recruiting is an integral part of college athletics and until the Sun Devils learn how to recruit and build a winning reputation, they will not be playing football in late December or basketball in March.

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