An arbitrator reportedly ruled the University of Southern California does not owe former head football coach Steve Sarkisian any money after he sued the school for wrongful termination. While he blamed the incident on mixing medication and alcohol, reports surfaced of Sarkisian being involved in other alcohol-related incidents. One player even texted ESPN that Sarkisian "showed up lit to meetings again today".
In docs obtained by TMZ Sports, the arbitrator explains, "Sarkisian must bear sole responsibility for having actively concealed from USC his claimed disabilities".
He was replaced by current head coach Clay Helton.
Sarkisian, who first sued USC in December 2015, had sought the $12.6 million left on his contract, plus other unspecified damages for "mental anguish", alleging he was sacked rather than allowed to seek treatment for alcoholism, a disability under California law.
USC Athletic Director Lynn Swann noted in a statement, "We are pleased that the arbitration has reached its rightful conclusion and we wish Steve Sarkisian well". Almost three years later, Sarkisian has officially lost the case.
"The last two years have been trying", Sarkisian said in his statement. After posting a 34-29 years in five years as the coach at Washington, Sarkisian went 9-4 and won the Holiday Bowl in his first season in Los Angeles in 2014.
After he was absent from a practice on October 11, 2015, and acted off at a team meeting, he was placed on a leave of absence by then-USC athletic director Pat Haden.
Sarkisian has said in recent years that he remains sober and completed a 30-day treatment program, according to the initial complaint.
Sarkisian, who is now the offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons, sued USC for $30 million after he was sacked in 2015. The Trojans were off to a 3-2 start in 2015 prior to his dismissal.
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