UPDATE (4:43 p.m. ET): USC athletic director Pat Haden announced Monday that Steve Sarkisian has been fired as head coach of the university’s football team.
Haden released the following statement:
“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.
“I want to thank Clay Helton for stepping into the interim head coach role, and I want to add how proud I am of our coaching staff and players and the way they are responding to this difficult situation.
“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.”
ORIGINAL STORY: Steve Sarkisian might have a serious drinking problem.
USC athletic director Pat Haden said Sunday that Sarkisian was “not healthy” and thus would take an indefinite leave of absence. Reports indicated Sarkisian was drunk at a team meeting earlier in the day and that the USC head coach is expected to seek treatment during his absence.
But that’s just the beginning. Stories from anonymous players and coaches have trickled out since, suggesting Sarkisian’s issues run deep. Some even believe Sarkisian was drunk during a game earlier this season against Arizona State.
(For what it’s worth, the Trojans, who are 3-2 this season, defeated Arizona State 42-14.)
Scott Wolf, a staff writer for the Los Angeles Daily News, has been all over the Sarkisian story. His Twitter feed chronicled some of what transpired Sunday, as well as some previous incidents.
This season apparently isn’t the first in which Sarkisian’s drinking has been questioned.
Sarkisian, of course, landed in hot water back in August for showing up drunk to a pep rally. He publicly apologized at the time and claimed he didn’t have a drinking problem.
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