Three Cheers for Three Years

Former USC Head Coach Steve Sarkisian (left) and USC Athletic Director Pat Haden
Credit to cbssports.com's Jerry Hinnen for the photo
Oh how Troy has fallen. The once revered University of Southern California has fallen from grace with the firing of football head coach Steve Sarkisian. After many, many, many, many stumblings, bumblings, and any number of other fumblings, Athletic Director Pat Haden decided to terminate the contract of Sarkisian a day after indefinitely suspending him to let him seek treatment for alcoholism.


The world famous liquor named for its #1 consumer.
Credit to aherbws.com for the photo

Alcohol defines some of us unfortunate enough to fall victim to its restrictive grasp. It guides us and all of our decisions. Steve Sarkisian was, unfortunately, not above this addiction. It took hold of him a while ago, and he was unable to control it. According to player reports, this has been going on since the beginning of his 5-year stint as head coach of the University of Washington Huskies.

Let's draw out a timeline of the alleged events as they happened:

2009: An ex-player notes Sarkisian smells of liquor at multiple team meetings. This is Sarkisian's first year at U of W.


2010: Sarkisian visits a bar on two separate occasions,  spending over $125 and $104 on the individual trips.


2011: Sarkisian and assistants go out to a restaurant where they order 8 shots of liquor (4 Patron Silver and 4 undisclosed spirits) in addition to several beers. The check was closed at 11:53 AM.

Sarkisian then picks up a modest 83-beer tab for his coaching staff and their spouses (an average of just over 2 beers per person).

Later on in the year, hotel records show he ordered a bottle of champagne, a chocolate dessert and another 8 beers for the room.


2012 and 2013: The day before the Huskies' 2012 Spring football game, Sarkisian drunkenly jumps on a bar and gives a speech to his players. None are surprised by this outburst.

Sarkisian reportedly spends $1023 on alcohol alone at 2 separate retreats in which approximately 16 people attended the former and a similar, but undisclosed, number of guests attended the latter.


2015: In late August of this year, Sarkisian gives a speech at a USC pep rally, and lets an expletive fly saying "Get ready to f----- fight on, baby, let's go!" He would later blame the incident on an accidental mixture of prescription drugs and alcohol.


This brings us to October 10th. Sarkisian and the #17 Trojans fall to the unranked Huskies (Sarkisian's former coaching gig). At a team meeting the following day, Sarkisian appeared to be confrontational and acted in a strange manner. He even left the campus before the team practice began, prompting Haden to indefinitely suspend him. The following day, the decision was made to let Sark go.

Sarkisian was on a plane headed to an out-of-state treatment facility when the news broke, so instead of hearing directly from his boss, he was informed via email and through condolences from his support system. Haden believes that the firing was "for-cause" and does not intend to pay Sarkisian any of the money left on the remaining 3 years of his contract. The upcoming legal battle will be messy, but there is ample evidence to show Sarkisian's alcoholism and that it occurred while he was on the job. The Washington Post reported they have obtained over 800 documents and receipts of alcohol purchases.

Former USC Head Coach Steve Sarkisian
Credit to Mark J. Terrill of the Associated Press for the photo
Support for Sarkisian is pouring in from all over, whether it be his former players, his mentors, family members, or even Pat Haden who "[looks] forward to speaking with [him]." I can only hope my support system is so illustrious if/when I fall off the wagon. Maybe college football is the right career path towards being rewarded for addiction.

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