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Steve Sarkisian won't fight on after former USC football coach loses dispute over firing

Steve Sarkisian won't fight on after former USC football coach loses dispute over firing
Published On: Tue, Jul 10
Dec 27, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; USC Trojans quarterback Cody Kessler (6) addresses the crowd after being named the game's offensive player as head coach Steve Sarkisian (left) looks on after the game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the 2014 Holiday Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The dispute between USC and Steve Sarkisian over the football coacha€™s abrupt firing in 2015 ended last week when the school prevailed in an arbitration hearing.

a€œI am disappointed in the decision, but we will respect it and move on,a€ Sarkisian, the offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons, said Monday in a statement. a€œMuch gratitude to everyone who has shown their support and stood by me. The last two years have been trying, but I am in now a great place, healthy, happy and loving my job with the Falcons and have the support of my family and friends and thata€™s where my focus is and will remain.a€

Then-USC athletic director Pat Haden fired Sarkisian in October 2015 after the coach slurred his words and shouted a profanity during the a€œSalute to Troya€ preseason booster event, didna€™t appear to be himself during a game and acted strangely before a team meeting.

Sarkisian sued USC two months later, claiming Haden dismissed him rather than allow him to seek treatment for alcoholism. The coach sought the $12.6 million remaining on his contract plus unspecified damages.

The lawsuit said Sarkisian was a€œupset, teary and nearly hyperventilatinga€ before calling Haden and asking for time off. According to the complaint, Haden responded: a€œUnbelievable! Cana€™t you even go back to the office to finish the day?a€ Sarkisian said: a€œNo, I need to get help. I'm not right.a€

USC called the lawsuita€™s claims a€œpatently untruea€ and alleged that Sarkisian a€œrepeatedly denieda€ to university officials that he had a problem with alcohol.

Read the complete news article here...

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