Sunday, 22 July, 2018

Sarkisian loses $30M lawsuit against USC over firing

Sidney Guerrero | 11 July, 2018, 01:54

USC fired Steve Sarkisian back in 2015 after his struggles with alcohol abuse became a public embarrassment for the university, and the former head football coach responded by suing for wrongful termination.

When Sarkisian filed the lawsuit two months after he was sacked, he claimed then-athletic director Pat Haden fired him instead of giving him a chance to seek treatment for his alcoholism, which is recognized as a disability by the law, he was seeking the remaining $12.6 million left on his contract in addition to unspecified damages, according to Nathan Fenno of The Los Angeles Times.

Sark signed the document, but USC says at the time he adamantly denied having a drinking problem.

Sarkisian was sacked as USC's head coach in October 2015 after the school became aware of several incidents in which he appeared in public or coached the team under the influence of alcohol.

"I am disappointed in the decision, but we will respect it and move on", Sarkisian, now the offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons, said in a statement released by his publicist. According to TMZ, an arbitrator recently sided with USC and ruled that the school does not owe Sarkisian a dime.

Sarkisian blamed his behavior on mixing alcohol with medication before the event. One player even texted ESPN that Sarkisian "showed up lit to meetings again today".

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Sarkisian went into alcohol rehabilitation treatment after he was sacked.

In less than two full seasons as the Trojans' head coach, Sarkisian, who was previously an offensive coordinator under Pete Carroll, led the team to a 12-6 record.

'The last two years have been trying, ' Sarkisian said in his statement. Multiple reports also claimed that Sarkisian was drunk during a game against Arizona State.

He was sacked five games into the 2015 season after first announcing he would take a leave of absence.

Sarkisian first got into trouble at USC after he went on a "booze-filled rant" at a Salute To Troy event in August 2015.

Sarkisian has said in recent years that he remains sober and completed a 30-day treatment program, according to the initial complaint.

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