November 28, 2011 | 1:28pm
Arizona State University made it official an hour or so ago, releasing a statement that everyone expected: Dennis Erickson is out as the Sun Devils' head football coach, apparently effective after the team plays in a minor bowl game somewhere next month.
Erickson's record in Tempe is 31-30, and that includes ten wins in his first season as the boss. Since then, the once-vaunted program been the epitome of mediocrity, with this season's collapse after a solid start sealing his fate.
Four successive Pac-12 losses to end the regular season, all of them against equally poor teams did Erickson in, including the recent home defeat at the hands of the Arizona Wildcats (and one of the worst UA teams in a long time to boot).
Vice President for Athletics Lisa Love hired Erickson with the blessing of school president Michael Crow five years ago, and it was her task to dismiss him.
Certainly, Love is on the proverbial hot seat herself, though she has two years remaining on her own contract.
If only the rest of us could get such a nice severance package as Coach Erickson's: He will be paid $750,000 next year (half of his annual salary) for doing nothing.
Maybe he'll give that money to a homeless shelter or to an inner city football program.
Or maybe not.
Who knows? The 64-year-old hopscotching coach may yet land on his feet with another gig.
This was the season that was supposed to turn the corner for the Sun Devils' football program, and it happened to set up nicely that way schedule-wise. The big early-season win over a very good USC team seemed to bode well for a major bowl and a contract extension for Erickson.
Such are the vagaries of major college sports these days, and Dennis Erickson, obviously way past his prime as a bigtime football coach, is as done as a overcooked steak.