ETSU puts coach Sanders on paid leave

(STATS) – ETSU coach Randy Sanders was placed on paid administrative leave Monday, reportedly for hitting a player in the helmet during practice.

The Southern Conference school said in a one-sentence statement it is investigating a “potential violation of university policy.” The Johnson City Press reported two sources said Sanders hit freshman defensive back Tyree Robison in the helmet when the player failed to take a knee during a drill on Friday.

Sanders, 52, was hired Dec. 17 to replace Carl Torbush, who retired three years after resurrecting an ETSU program that disbanded following the 2003 season.

Sanders was Florida State’s offensive coordinator on Jimbo Fisher’s staff last season. A college assistant for 28 years, he has coached on two national championship-winning staffs – Tennessee in 1998 and Florida State in 2013. The Tennessee graduate also was an assistant at Kentucky.

No timetable was set for Sanders’ potential return. He will not coach in ETSU’s spring game Thursday night.

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