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East Tennessee State suspends football coach Randy Sanders

ETSU suspends football coach Randy Sanders

The East Tennessee State Buccaneers placed head football coach Randy Sanders on paid administrative leave while the school investigates a violation. Sanders allegedly struck defensive back Tyree Robinson in the helmet after the player refused to take a knee during a practice drill. The information on the incident has been vague so far, but the school released a statement on Monday.

“The head coach of the ETSU football team has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the investigation of potential violation of university policy.”

Sanders is in his first year as the head coach for the ETSU Buccaneers after Carl Torbush announced his retirement back in December. The decision to suspend Sanders comes at a difficult time for the Buccaneers’ football program. Offensive Coordinator Marcus Satterfield left the program to take another job. Receivers coach Mike Rader will lead the offense for the rest of spring practice. ETSU will still play their spring game as scheduled on Thursday night.

Sanders came to the Buccaneers after serving as Co-Offensive Coordinator for Jimbo Fisher at Florida State. He also coached at Kentucky and Tennessee in the same role. During his 29-year coaching career, Sanders has been on two national championship teams.

Losing Randy Sanders would be a devastating blow to the ETSU Buccaneers. The team is struggling with staffing at the moment and this gives them less time to get in sync. Even if Sanders returns, it is going to be a tough journey to get his team prepared for the 2018 FCS Football season.

ETSU struggled last season, finishing 2-6 in the Southern Conference and 4-7 on the entire season. All four wins for the Buccaneers came at home. The offense is in need of a complete overhaul and Sanders seemed like the right fit to turn the program around. Now, all of that is in jeopardy.