Steve Sarkisian was fired by USC for cause and the university now believes it will not have to pay the remaining three years of his five-year deal.
USC fired Sarkisian after he left the team to reportedly seek alcohol treatment. The dismissal came after more details of Sarkisian's history of alcohol abuse were revealed.
Sarkisian learned of his firing from emails and texts from friends, Schad reports. USC athletic director Pat Haden attempted to reach Sarkisian over the phone, but the coach was traveling to an out-of-state treatment facility, where he is expected to spent at least 30 days.
The Los Angeles Daily News reported on Sunday that Sarkisian was clearly intoxicated at a recent team meeting.
The Los Angeles Times subsequently reported that Sarkisian’s problems with alcohol dated back to his time as the head coach at Washington. Several former Huskies players told The Los Angeles Times that they could smell alcohol on Sarkisian’s breath during team meetings.
The Los Angeles Times also reviewed hundreds of pages of expense reports from Sarkisian’s time at Washington, including a receipt from January 2013 that showed Sarkisian and three of his assistants ordered eight shots of hard liquor and five beers before noon.
In August, after he appeared to be intoxicated at a booster event, Sarkisian told reporters he would seek treatment for his alcohol consumption but that he did not have a drinking problem. He said his actions at the event were the result of mixing alcohol with an unspecified medication. Sarkisian also said in August he would “without a doubt” swear off alcohol for the rest of the season.
Sarkisian's recent mishap violated a recent agreement that was made after the coach's incident in August.
Offensive coordinator Clay Helton is set to assume the team’s interim head coaching duties as the Trojans face the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Saturday.
- Christopher Chavez