The smoldering Arizona-Arizona State football rivalry grew hotter on Wednesday when Wildcats coach Mike Stoops said ASU has "turned into a J.C."
Speaking at a football signing day news conference in Tucson, Stoops said some recruits had told him that it was easier to earn acceptance at ASU.
"Each school has to recruit to that school and what type of academic requirements there are," Stoops said. "Obviously, Arizona State has turned into a J.C. and we are a four-year college. According to all the players, they say it is easier to go to school there, easier to get in. I thought we had the same requirements. It is news to me."
It was also news to ASU coach Dennis Erickson, who had little to say about Stoops' remarks.
"He can say what he wants," Erickson said. "We're all the same. There is no difference.
"The bottom line with recruiting, and all that talking back and forth and all the stuff, is who's going to win games and who isn't right now," said Erickson, who defeated Stoops and Arizona 20-17 on Dec. 1 in Tempe. "What we've done with our group academically, as far as helping our guys be successful, that's what it's all about.
Tensions between the football programs, located 90 miles apart, grew last month when highly touted tailback Ryan Bass of Corona, Calif., backed out of an oral commitment to Arizona and said he would attend ASU. Bass was among the 27 signees announced by the Sun Devils on Wednesday.
Arizona signed only two players from the state - seven fewer than Arizona State. The disparity could be a byproduct of ASU's three-game win streak in the Territorial Cup series. Stoops is 1-3 against Arizona State.
February 7, 2008
Can't beat your in-state rival? Lose recruits to your in-state rival? Do you suck it up and try harder? No. You call your in-state rival names. Yeah, that'll solve your problems, coach! Pussy! :) From the Arizona Republic: