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UPDATE: ETSU reprimands, reinstates head football coach Sanders

Johnson City Press • Updated Apr 6, 2018 at 6:32 PM

UPDATE: East Tennessee State University will place a letter of reprimand in head football coach Randy Sanders’ personnel file and dock him a week’s pay for an altercation he had with player in a March 30 team practice.

Athletic Director Scott Carter said in a news conference at Greene Stadium that Sanders would be back in charge of the team immediately.

ETSU announced Monday that it had placed Sanders on administrative leave with pay after a “possible violation” of university policy. Sources close to the situation told the Johnson City Press the action was taken after Sanders struck a player on the helmet.

At Friday’s news conference, Carter reported that Sanders had reported the situation following the practice.

Following the news conference, ETSU released a statement from the coach:

Last week, I responded to a situation with poor judgment towards the end of practice. I immediately apologized to the player directly involved and to my team, and contacted my athletic director to explain everything that happened. Since that time, I have cooperated freely and fully with the university and its review of the situation.

I accept the decision by the university and recognize that through my role I have an obligation to lead by example. As I said back in December, I am truly grateful to be your coach and I am thankful for the opportunity given to me by our President Dr. Brian Noland and Athletic Director Scott Carter. I look forward to returning to the sideline.

Keep visiting JohnsonCityPress.com for more on this developing story.

Reported earlier:

East Tennessee State University has called a 6 p.m. news conference to discuss the outcome of its investigation into a situation that led to the suspension of head football coach Randy Sanders earlier this week.

Athletic Director Scott Carter will discuss the outcome of the review in the Ramsey Tower’s Club Level at the William B. Greene Jr. Stadium.

ETSU announced Monday that it had placed Sanders on administrative leave with pay after a “possible violation” of university policy. Sources close to the situation told the Johnson City Press the action was taken after Sanders struck a player on the helmet.

The player in question, according to two people close to the program, is Tyree Robinson, a freshman defensive back from Gainesville, Georgia. Sanders allegedly hit Robinson in the helmet during Friday’s practice when the player failed to take a knee during a drill.

Sanders was allowed to coach the team’s second scrimmage on Saturday.

Sanders joined ETSU from Florida State, where he spent the last five years as quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator. The Morristown native has been an assistant at college football’s top level for 29 years after having begun his coaching career at Tennessee in 1989.

He replaced the retired Carl Torbush as head coach on Dec. 17. Torbush had run the program the previous three seasons after the program was reinstated after a 12-year absence.

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