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Report: Ex-USC Safety Chris Hawkins Denies Involvement in Arizona State Recruiting Scandal

AllTrojans
AllTrojans
 2021-06-24
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All eyes are on Arizona State's football program, as the team has been hit with serious allegations of violating the NCAA-mandated dead period. Since the news broke last week, several new reports have surfaced including the alleged involvement in the scandal of former USC safety Chris Hawkins.

Hawkins joined ASU's staff as their defensive backs coach in December 2019. He was previously a graduate assistant at USC in 2019, and worked directly with the defensive backs, after playing for the Trojans from 2013-2017.

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Former USC Safety Chris Hawkins / USA TODAY 

According to Yahoo! Sports, the NCAA enforcement department and Arizona State compliance department received a dossier of documents, which included "a blunt message about allegations of NCAA improprieties in the ASU football program."

“I am writing this letter to inform you about recruiting violations that are occurring at Arizona State University in their Football department," the letter read. "My objective is…providing enough information to assure you if Arizona State football is looked into, there will be violations found.”

According to reports, the dossier provided more than a dozen allegations of potential NCAA violations. Some of the claims followed with documented receipts and screenshots that cite evidence of the infractions, including ASU employees allegedly arranging trips for recruits to visit campus in Tempe.

At the forefront of these "arranged flight allegations" are three Sun Devil assistant coaches: Chris Hawkins, Prentice Gill and Adam Breneman.

According to the report, included in the dossier are emails from Regina Jackson, the mother of ASU quarterback Jayden Daniels, allegedly assisting with booking more than $1,100 in flights for recruits and their families on a trip from Florida.

Yahoo! Sports reported, "in the dossier is an email forwarding a ticket for the guardian of one of the recruits. The email is from Jackson to an email address for Chris Hawkins, the ASU defensive backs coach. Hawkins then forwarded the ticket to the guardian. There are receipts explicitly listing the names of two recruits on their tickets with their flight locator numbers, and both are purchased by the credit card that the documents tie to Jackson.

In a phone interview Wednesday, Hawkins said he did not deny knowing the recruits were going to be in the area. He denied paying for or helping arrange the trip: “I’ve never paid a kid. I’ve never paid for a flight. I’ve never done any of that. I made $100,000 last year. I was the lowest-paid [Power Five] coach in America. I didn’t have the money to be paying players or paying for flights. I live check-to-check. I’m not one of the big guys yet.”

Jackson has denied any involvement in helping the football team, per Yahoo Sports!. It's also believed that Daniels has had zero involvement in these recruiting violations.

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Arizona State Quarterback Jayden Daniels / USA TODAY 

This case is just one small piece of the puzzle that the NCAA is working through, trying to find clarity and answers when it comes to what really happened during the mandated dead period at Arizona State.

The NCAA dead period started in the spring of 2020 and ended June 1, 2021. Schools were prohibited from hosting recruits on campus during the dead period as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time, most communication between recruits and coaches was conducted electronically over the phone or via zoom.

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