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Washington State coach fined $10,000 for comments about ASU football; Sun Devils applaud decision

Posted: 9:21 AM, Oct 21, 2016
Updated: 2016-10-22 17:24:33-04

On Monday, Washington State football coach Mike Leach asserted the Arizona State Sun Devils football team steals opposing teams' signals and even have a "command center" for doing so. It was the second year in a row that Leach made such an assertion.

On Thursday night, the Pac-12 responded by fining Leach $10,000 for those comments. 

"Conference rules prohibit Pac-12 member institutions from disparaging each other and discrediting other institutions," Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said in a statement issued Thursday. “Information or accusations relative to rule violations must be handled by institutions filing those concerns with the Conference office through a formal process, and institutions must refrain from discussing those concerns publicly."

Scott also noted current rules don't prohibit teams from "observing" an opponent's signals.

Leach had accused ASU of using cameras and microphones to steal signals. 

“The NCAA playing rules (1-4-11-a, b and f) cover what audio and video equipment is prohibited in the team area, coaching box and coaches’ booth, and specifically state that any attempt to record, either through audio or video means, any signals given by an opposing player, coach or other team personal is prohibited," Scott said. 

In a statement Friday morning, ASU athletic director Ray Anderson applauded the decision and said he considers the matter settled.

"I fully support the Pacific-12 Conference Office and Commissioner Larry Scott's decision on this matter. Our professional integrity was questioned for two straight years by Mike Leach's irresponsible comments and we will not allow that to happen," he said.

"We are pleased with the outcome and for us the matter is closed."

On Tuesday, ASU coach Todd Graham defended the integrity of his football program.

"Make this perfectly clear: We do everything exactly by the rules, period," he said. "Obviously we take a great deal of pride in the integrity that our program has.

"I'll just leave it at that. I'm not going to get involved in things like that that are ridiculous. But when you speak about our my integrity and our integrity as a program ... We take great pride in how we do things here. (We're) very open and very honest about how we do things, so I do want to say that."

ASU and Washington State will meet on the field Saturday at Sun Devil Stadium beginning at 7 p.m. Washington State won last year's meeting, 38-24 in Pullman.