Destination: Omaha - NCAABB

Hoping to reduce the possibility of the NCAA coming down harder on it in August, Arizona State announced self-imposed penalties on its baseball program on Wednesday.

"Arizona State University remains committed to maintaining the higher standards of integrity in its athletics programs," ASU Vice President for Athletics Lisa Love said in a statement. "ASU baseball, in particular, based on a remarkable, competitive heritage has the unique potential to be exemplary on and off the field."

In a release sent to media outlets and reported by the Arizona Republic, Arizona State announced it will vacate wins from the 2007 season, and reduce prospect visits and scholarships over the next two years.

Arizona State will vacate 44 of its 49 wins and postseason honors from the '07 campaign, conduct audits during any term of probation the NCAA sets, prohibit phone calls to prospects in July 2010 and July 2011, reduce the number of prospect visits from 25 to nine for the next two years and reduce scholarships by two no later than the 2011-2012 academic year.

ASU is set to appear before the NCAA in August.

Even with the self-imposed penalties, the NCAA has the right to choose to accept or deny the penalties. The NCAA also may add new and harsher penalties.

"We're really proud of what we achieved as a baseball staff and for what we achieved at Arizona State over the last 15 years and last five years. It was one of the best five year periods in the program's history," Murphy said. "Scholarships, facilities and budgets don't make a program. People made our program. We operated with transparency throughout the investigation, and sincerely have never intentionally broken or not followed a rule, or tried to gain an [unfair] advantage."

"We're trying to honor the process right now. It's bigger than me."

The Sun Devils, who are 31-4, currently are ranked No. 1 in the Rivals.com Top 25.

Rogers' take: Arizona State certainly wants to limit the damage the NCAA may do to it in a few months. Therefore, it's a smart move to preemptively announce some self-imposed penalties. However, the penalties aren't too severe. Reducing scholarships by two is a big deal, but vacating wins and reducing the number of prospect visits will have no major impact on the future of the program. Perhaps that shouldn't come as a surprise, though, as Arizona State's Lisa Love said previously in documents that the infractions weren't perceived to have given the Sun Devils a competitive advantage. Will the NCAA agree? That is most important question that must be answered.

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