Junior Colleges

Pearl River Community College announces David Saunders won’t be back

Pearl River Community College announced Tuesday that David Saunders will not coach the team in 2017.
Pearl River Community College announced Tuesday that David Saunders will not coach the team in 2017.

Well after the conclusion of a disappointing 2-7 season, Pearl River Community College has announced head football coach David Saunders “will not return” to the program.

Saunders was previously an assistant at PRCC in 2015.

“Coach Saunders is a good man and a dedicated football coach,” PRCC President William Lewis said in a release. “We thank him for his efforts and wish him every success in the future.”

A new search will begin immediately.

“We will move carefully to identify a quality professional and person as our next head football coach,” he said.

Tuesday’s announcement is surprising in that the Wildcats only gave Saunders one season at the helm of the program. However, when Saunders was announced as coach it raised plenty of eyebrows as the well-traveled assistant coach was at the center of an investigation involving his previous employer, Louisiana-Lafayette.

Despite Saunders landing an eight-year show cause stemming from NCAA rules violations at ULL, PRCC stood by its hire, which was about a month old at the time.

“We’re aware of the situation,” PRCC spokesman Chuck Abadie told the Sun Herald in January 2016. “We feel like we made a great hire and he will be a great leader for our football program.”

The NCAA announced its sanctions in January 2016, adding Saunders denied his involvement in the infractions and failed to cooperate with the investigation.

The NCAA said Saunders arranged for five prospects to receive fraudulent exam scores. Saunders is also alleged to have provided $6,800 to a player over two semesters.

Due to his show cause, should another NCAA school intend to hire him before Jan. 11, 2024, the school would have to argue before a panel why Saunders should be hired without restriction.

Prior to coaching at ULL, Saunders also coached at Jacksonville State, Baylor, Tennessee, Ole Miss and Millsaps.

Saunders replaced William Jones, who was 11-16 in three seasons at PRCC.

Patrick Ochs: 228-896-2321, @PatrickOchs