Steve Sarkisian terminated as USC head coach
LOS ANGELES – USC head football coach Steve Sarkisian was terminated Monday, one day after he was placed on an indefinite leave of absence from the team, USC announced on Twitter.
The tweet from @USC_Athletics linked to the following statement from USC Athletic Director Pat Haden:
“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,” the statement read.
Based on the conversation, “It was very clear to me that he is not healthy,” Haden told reporters at a brief news conference. “I asked him to take an indefinite leave of absence.”
Sarkisian came under fire before the season started for his erratic behavior at the “Salute to Troy” kickoff event, where he slurred words, used an expletive, and told the crowd of supporters that several opponents “sucked.”
Sarkisian issued an apology the following day.