Justin Toscano of ASUDevils.com, the Rivals site of Arizona State recently wrote a scathing article detailing the drama that has taken place in the Sun Devils program with players having verbal confrontations with Ty Smith, the son of Arizona State head coach to players losing interest in the program.
Ty Smith’s Verbal Confrontations
According to Shaps, he and Ty’s rocky relationship started in January when Shaps failed a conditioning test and Ty confronted him.
“He was like going off on me about how I’m supposed to be a leader and how it’s b——– that I didn’t work over break to be in shape,” Shaps said. “He was getting in my face and this is like the first day I had ever met him. Then he told me he didn’t respect me because I didn’t fight him for that. I was like, ‘Dude, I don’t even care. I didn’t fight you because I don’t care.’”
Shaps and Lillard both said they didn’t see Ty much after that incident. Tracy Smith said he talked to his son about that incident and later denied him special access to the locker room, field or dugout because Ty works for The Legacy Agency, a professional sports agency.
Tracy said he and Ty sometimes lift weights together in ASU’s weight room and Ty sits with the rest of the Smith family in Tracy’s office during games. But given the NCAA violations that could arise, Tracy said allowing Ty special access to be around the players would be “professional suicide.” Furthermore, Tracy said his sons had always been around his teams, but he encouraged them not to socialize with his 2017 ASU squad.
Ty Smith was unavailable for comment for this story.
Dysfunction in the Program?
The word Smith used to describe his 2017 team was “dysfunctional.” The word seems fitting for the team’s on-field play as well as some of the off-field occurrences.
According to Lillard and Shaps, Smith would pull in underclassmen and warn them about spending too much time around the upperclassmen. Smith said he did pull in underclassmen throughout the season because he believes it’s an upperclassman’s duty to act as an “assistant coach who communicates the message loud and clear of what it means to be an ASU baseball player.”
Smith said he was concerned a few of this past season’s upperclassmen weren’t taking on that role.
“The expectation is as an upperclassman, you don’t just have the responsibility of taking care of yourself, you have the expectation of reaching out and taking care of younger guys,” he said. “Do I think it’s going to be better now? Absolutely. I think we’re going to have kids now that better represent the character and moral compass and responsibility and talent of what’s supposed to be at ASU. That’s not a slam on anyone, I’m just stating facts.”
You can check out more of the details of the craziness of the program by clicking here.