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USC fires head coach Steve Sarkisian

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The Southern California Trojans have fired head coach Steve Sarkisian. On Sunday, he was asked to take an indefinite leave of absence.

Athletic Director Pat Haden said, “it was clear to me that he was not healthy.” This comes as Sarkisian has been dealing with alcohol problems.

Clay Helton has been named interim head coach for the rest of the season. The team will evaluate their head coaching position at the end of the season.

“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,” USC athletic director Pat Haden said in a statement.

“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.”

ESPN is reporting that Sarkisian showed up to a meeting “lit up” on Sunday, according to a player. They also said from another source that he “appeared not normal” before being told to leave.

“They wouldn’t let him come to practice,” the source told ESPN.

Sarkisian is currently going through a divorce. He even had issues with alcohol back in August at a Salute to Troy event, which drew national headlines.

He blamed that on mixing alcohol and medicine.

There’s speculation by his staff and players that he was drinking during the Sept. 26th 42-14 win over the Arizona State Sun Devils.

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