Sarkisian loses $30M lawsuit against USC over firing
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Former USC head football coach Steve Sarkisian has lost a $30 million lawsuit that claimed he was improperly fired by the school instead of being allowed to seek treatment for alcoholism.
An arbitrator last week ruled in favor of the University of Southern California, saying Sarkisian concealed his condition from the school.
In a statement Monday, Sarkisian said he was “disappointed in the decision, but we will respect it and move on.”
Sarkisian was fired in October 2015, two months after he slurred his words and swore during USC’s annual “Salute to Troy” preseason pep rally.
Sarkisian blamed his behavior on mixing alcohol with medication before the event.
However, Sarkisian also reportedly showed signs of being intoxicated during a game and at a team meeting.
He was replaced by current head coach Clay Helton.
Sarkisian sued for breach of contract and discrimination based on disability, alleging that the school fired him instead of allowing him to seek treatment for alcoholism.
“We are pleased that the arbitration has reached its rightful conclusion and we wish Steve Sarkisian well,” said a statement from USC Athletic Director Lynn Swann.
Sarkisian went into alcohol rehabilitation treatment after he was fired. He currently is the offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons.
“The last two years have been trying,” Sarkisian said in his statement. “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 that’s where my focus is and will remain.”