USC head football coach Steve Sarkisian’s last game against his former team Washington was not a memorable one losing to the unranked Huskies at home 17-12 last Thursday night. Now it seems as if it was his last game as the Trojan’s coach.
USC Athletic Director Pat Haden, reportedly fired Sarkisian Monday after he initially dismissed the USC coach for reports of him showing up to meetings drunk. There were also multiple reports stating that Sarkisian coached against Arizona State while intoxicated.
“After careful consideration of what is in the best interest of the university and our student-athletes, I have made the decision to terminate Steve Sarkisian, effective immediately,” USC athletic director Pat Haden said in a statement.
In August, Sarkisian was reportedly publicly intoxicated during a University pep rally for the football team and made some inappropriate comments in his speech (message to the fans). Sarkisian made a public apology for his behavior, and the profane statements he made regarding about USC opponents. He reportedly blames his behavior on the mixture of alcohol and medication in his system.
“Through all of this we remain concerned for Steve and hope that it will give him the opportunity to focus on his personal well-being,” commented Haden.
Since the question of Sarkisian’s alcoholism has come to light, reporters of the Seattle Times and LA Times have put together reports and a string of receipts dating back to 2010 about Sarkisian’s off the field activities.
During Sarkisian’s five years at the University of Washington; the Seattle Times back in August published receipts of his alcohol consumption, totaling $1,023, for alcohol for which UW had reimbursed Sarkisian from two group retreats in 2012 and 2013. On six other out-of-town trips from 2010 to 2013, UW reimbursed Sarkisian more than $1,118 in alcohol, according to receipts obtained by the Los Angeles Times.
There are reports out of the Seattle Times of a source close to the Huskies football program saying that Washington administrators knew of Sarkisian’s social drinking, but didn’t take action because it didn’t appear to affect him or the team’s performance on the field.
UW athletic director Scott Woodward issued a brief statement Monday: “It is evident that Steve is dealing with a serious personal matter, and we wish him the best in facing whatever challenges lay ahead.”
Sarkisian had a 34-29 record in five seasons at UW, his first head-coaching job. He was 12-6 at USC.
The Trojans entered this season ranked No. 8 in the preseason Associated Press Top 25 poll and were picked by the media to win the Pac-12 title.