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Football Hits All-Time Low as Randy Sanders is Docked Pay for Slapping Player’s Helmet

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

East Tennessee State football coach Randy Sanders lost one week’s pay in the softest way possible.  The former Kentucky and Florida State offensive coordinator was reprimanded for slapping a player in the helmet.

That’s right.  A slap to the helmet is worth one week’s salary.

The incident occurred during a Hail Mary drill on March 30.  When a defensive player picked off a pass, he ran out of the end zone with the ball instead of taking a knee for a touchback. When Sanders told the player to take a knee, the player responded, “I’ll take a knee in the a game.”  Sanders reacted by smacking the player in the helmet.  That’s when the player reportedly removed his equipment and left practice, which started the investigation.

Sanders apologized for his action.

“Last week, I responded to a situation with poor judgment towards the end of practice,” Sanders said in a statement released by the university. “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.”

Give me a break.  This incident might be the softest and lowest point in the history of football.

Woody Hayes taught us that coaches can’t punch kids in the face, especially when it’s an opponent in the middle of a game.  This was not a punch.  Sanders slapped a player in the helmet for being insubordinate and talking back.  It’s not the first time a football player has been disciplined by a coach with a smack across the helmet.

Witnesses said the incident was surprising but many players noted they had seen ”far worse disciplinary actions” in high school sports. All the witnesses said they didn’t consider the slap to be physically harmful and that it didn’t appear to be done with intent to hurt the player.

A player threw a fit because he got smacked by his coach.  This isn’t an issue of player safety.  This is another Millennial giving my generation a bad reputation.  If he can’t take a slap to the helmet, how will he handle getting ear-holed with a block from his blind-side?

Randy Sanders should not be punished for disciplining his player.  His player should toughen up.  This is not track and field.  This is football.

[Sports Illustrated]


Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

46 Comments for Football Hits All-Time Low as Randy Sanders is Docked Pay for Slapping Player’s Helmet

  1. JTHinton
    11:03 am April 7, 2018 Permalink

    Shoulda smacked him twice

  2. playmorezeppelin
    11:13 am April 7, 2018 Permalink

    You won’t make it anywhere in life being that soft. I can’t believe the boy even made it to play in college if he can’t handle something like that. If I were any coach on that team, I would take that as a sign that he doesn’t want to be coached. I would give him little to no attention on the practice field.

    • ClutchCargo
      11:37 am April 7, 2018 Permalink

      I would go farther and not even have him on the practice field at all because he would be off the team. I can’t imagine he made any friends in the locker room with that hissy fit.

  3. runningunnin.454
    11:18 am April 7, 2018 Permalink

    Wonder what he’d think about riding the bench?

  4. Jiminy Crickets
    11:21 am April 7, 2018 Permalink

    The coaching staff should suspend the player for insubordination. Today’s kids are so entitled, and I’m sure his mommy was the first person he called to complain about the mean coach.

  5. mcp157
    11:24 am April 7, 2018 Permalink

    Millennials are pussies.

    • Han
      1:10 pm April 7, 2018 Permalink

      You part of the generation that threw fits unless your Millennial kid got a trophy, win or lose?

    • cats646
      1:49 pm April 7, 2018 Permalink

      I think you should’ve said liberals instead of millenials. I’m a millenial myself and there is absolutely nothing wrong with what that coach did. If I was him I probably would’ve broke the kids nose after he took his equipment off and whined about a smack in the helmet. What a panzee. This is what the far left people are wanting our world to turn into. It’s ridiculous. People actually think that getting in a fight is intolerable. Ha! Our country was not built on the lack of fighting or offending people. Grow up people!!!!!!!!

  6. Smyrna_Cat
    11:36 am April 7, 2018 Permalink

    This is an all-time low for KY football? You haven’t been a fan for long, have you.

    • Bobbum Man
      11:37 am April 7, 2018 Permalink

      He’s not at UK anymore, doesn’t really have anything to do with UK other than him being an old coach

    • ClutchCargo
      11:38 am April 7, 2018 Permalink

      Did you read the story or just look at the pictures and comments?

    • Trevor
      11:49 am April 7, 2018 Permalink

      It doesn’t say All Time Low for UK….has nothing to do with UK. They just happen to use a picture from when he was still here a few years ago….

  7. Seven Ate Nine
    11:37 am April 7, 2018 Permalink

    Just an fyi, the player probably isn’t a millennial. Cut off is like ’95

    • ClutchCargo
      11:43 am April 7, 2018 Permalink

      Yes. There is something even scarier out there now: the children of Millenials. Most of them just aren’t old enough to be in college yet.

    • mcp157
      12:46 pm April 7, 2018 Permalink

      Thanks for the info. But a football coach not bein able to slap a helmet! That’s a good example of the pendulum swinging way too, far the other way. The generation is spoiled and soft.

  8. Smyrna_Cat
    12:02 pm April 7, 2018 Permalink

    He is shown in UK gear. Surely there is one of him in ETS gear … or FSU gear, for that matter.

  9. jaws2
    12:08 pm April 7, 2018 Permalink

    Welcome to the new America! The country once the strongest and most respected in the world has slowly become weaker and given less respect by the year. A great thank you goes out to the ‘Great Society’ of the 60’s, their children, and their children.

  10. drbigblue
    12:32 pm April 7, 2018 Permalink

    The kid is a good example of their generation. Disrespectful and get away with it. I wouldn’t want him on my team, he’s like a virus.

  11. Look Out Fireworks
    12:35 pm April 7, 2018 Permalink


    I wish my HS football coaches would have smacked us on the helmet a few times. When our coaches were mad we had bleachers, suicides, burpees, gassers, the bull-pen, 2 on 1 drills, etc…. in the hot sun.

    Here this kid is wearing a new, state of the art, professionally-fit helmet, probably in an indoor facility, and cries when he is being insubordinate.

  12. chardun20
    12:39 pm April 7, 2018 Permalink

    If the player slapped the coach, the player, likely be facing criminal charges. This I am sure will be an unpopular take since everyone is blaming the player.

    • Trevor
      12:41 pm April 7, 2018 Permalink

      The coach isn’t wearing a helmet 😉

    • crazycatfan65
      1:43 pm April 7, 2018 Permalink

      Your liberalism is one reason this country has fallen so far. Millennials have ruined this country and will be the downfall of it.

    • chardun20
      5:19 pm April 7, 2018 Permalink

      Why does everything have to be political? I’m sure the slap was not a big deal. Most of you guys seem to be telling the player to shut up and play. The coach should be smart enough not smack a player today. Using your logic, crazycatfan65, coach should known that the player was liberal and smacking was only going to get him in trouble. LOL Both player and coach was wrong they should just shake hands and move on.

    • cats646
      5:59 pm April 7, 2018 Permalink

      Wrong chardun. The coach did absolutely nothing wrong. The player needs to grow up and learn that the world isn’t rainbows and butterflies and it certainly doesn’t revolve around him.

    • chardun20
      6:46 pm April 7, 2018 Permalink

      cats646, I played high school football in the mid late 80’s, a coach smacking a player is cool. I’ve seen it happen and no one said anything, but still doesn’t make it right. My opinion.

  13. wes720
    1:05 pm April 7, 2018 Permalink

    Had it been one of my sons back talking the coach I? would have slapped him in the helmet myself.

  14. wes720
    1:06 pm April 7, 2018 Permalink

    Within 15 years we’ll be watching flag football anyway

    • Look Out Fireworks
      1:20 pm April 7, 2018 Permalink

      And the players will still cry over making only $17million a year

    • cats646
      1:54 pm April 7, 2018 Permalink

      I’m afraid your right. I hate the way we are headed as a society. Why does everyone want to be weak and complain about everything. I just don’t get it.

  15. Bluebloodtoo
    1:08 pm April 7, 2018 Permalink

    The times, they are a changing…

  16. Look Out Fireworks
    2:06 pm April 7, 2018 Permalink

    I just read one of the articles where it said “the player became visibly upset” and “other players tried to console him”

    My god, what a crybaby.

  17. HackRichards
    2:06 pm April 7, 2018 Permalink

    YES this generation is PUSSIES! But which generation made them that way? Which generation is disciplining Sanders?

  18. rickat
    2:07 pm April 7, 2018 Permalink

    Once had a coach step on the back of my head and bounce my facemask off the gym floor. Practicing inside due to weather. Oh by the way I was in the eigth grade. I applaud a more civilized society.

    • cats646
      2:16 pm April 7, 2018 Permalink

      You had a helmet on. Man up.

    • Cmstew502
      2:54 pm April 7, 2018 Permalink

      Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. Weak men create hard times. Rinse. repeat.

    • terwilliger
      5:18 pm April 7, 2018 Permalink


  19. JaxWildcat
    2:24 pm April 7, 2018 Permalink

    Agreed with you until the closing. Why throw in the jab at track & field?

  20. bhb71
    2:47 pm April 7, 2018 Permalink

    Lol at all of the triggered old people in here. One dude being a prima donna doesn’t make him a “symbol of the younger generation.” A kid dies in Texas from overheating during two-a-days (or sometimes three-a-days), and y’all say that’s just an isolated incident, but one kid acts like a baby and suddenly it’s an existential crisis.

  21. gwhittle
    10:57 pm April 7, 2018 Permalink

    He should have just quit the job right then… Unbelievable

  22. gwhittle
    10:58 pm April 7, 2018 Permalink

    How can you coach at a school that is that soft???

  23. TBW3011
    11:36 pm April 7, 2018 Permalink

    Well, whatever Sanders is being paid is too much.

  24. bd2153
    12:36 am April 8, 2018 Permalink

    Remember hs football if u wasn’t playing attention the coach would hit u in helmet with ball. We all survived

  25. Rabbi Li
    12:50 am April 8, 2018 Permalink

    The biggest part of this story is being overlooked… when it happened Coach Sanders was removed from doing his job. His Spring Training plans with his team completely changed.

    He was suspended from coaching.

    This beta male player set his team back in critical weeks of the offseason coaching/training as a distraction.

  26. Miller45
    6:17 pm April 8, 2018 Permalink

    my high school coach used to crack us on the top of the helmet with his whistle lanyard, ears would ring for hours