John Saunders' cause of death still hasn't been revealed, but ESPN honored the former broadcaster on Saturday.
It's been about a month since ESPN broadcaster John Saunders, who did most of his work in college football, passed away unexpectedly. The network paid homage to Saunders during the first college football Saturday of the season.
ESPN's College GameDay did a tribute in Saunders' honor during its show on Saturday morning. Rece Davis, the show's host, gave a great speech about Saunders' impact on sports television. The show also released a great tweet in his honor.
ABC also aired a tribute in Saunders' honor - given by his former coworker Chris Fowler.
Saunders attended Western Michigan from 1974-1976 and joined ESPN in 1986. He hosted The Sports Reporters, NFL Primetime, Baseball Night in America, NBA Shootaround and a number of other programs for the network. He was one of the most well-liked personalities that the Worldwide Leader had to offer.
His death has been a bit of a mystery. Saunders reportedly battled depression - and he was set to release a book about his issues this upcoming April. But his family, in a statement, said that Saunders hadn't been feeling well in the days leading up to his death.
“This tragic news brings us unspeakable sorrow. John was the patriarch of our family, and we can’t believe he is gone. We are sincerely touched by the outpouring of support and sadness, which is a reflection of the character and integrity that defined him. While we don’t yet have all the specifics, John wasn’t feeling well physically in recent days and sadly, he was unresponsive earlier this morning. We appreciate all of the thoughts and prayers for our cherished father, husband, brother and uncle.”
Regardless, Saunders' impact on the sports media industry was tremendous. It's great to see him get the recognition he deserves.