Written by and Media by Trey Adams. [divide]
On Monday, October 12th, the University of Southern California’s athletic director Pat Haden decided to indefinitely remove Head Coach Steve Sarkisian from the coaching staff. Sarkisian was kicked off for his most recent health scare during a pep rally where he was slurring words and using expletive language.
According to News Health, “On Sunday, Haden was at a basketball event when he received word that Sarkisian was not at practice. He immediately called the coach, determined that Sarkisian was ‘“not healthy,”’ and placed him on leave.” Many agreed that Sarkisian was over the top and clearly not himself during the pep rally due to alcohol, which led to his removal as Head Coach.
Former University of Southern California quarterback in the late 80’s Pete Marinovich was at the pep rally and immediately knew Sarkisian was drunk on the podium. Marinovich is a recovered heroin addict and said, “I knew he was intoxicated and I wanted to protect him, and I went to the people in charge and I said, ‘we got to stop this.’” Marinovich went on to discuss this problem with the administrative authorities at USC, emphasizing that Sarkisian needs help for heroin addiction. Sarkisian calls his situation a moral lesson to be learned. “When you mix meds with alcohol, sometimes you say things and/or do things that you regret, and I regret it.”
The issues revolving around Sarkisian’s life are getting worse and whether he knows it or not it could not only severely hurt him and his career, but also harm those around him. Not only did he have considerable problems but also now his wife is filing for divorce. He is currently receiving rehab care where he is proclaiming that he does not have an alcoholic problem. A former USC star player Ron Yary was quoted, “The worst part about it is if a coach has a problem like that, the players know it. You won’t keep that away from the players.” The underlying problem is that Sarkisian should have been fired from coaching a long time ago.
When Sarkisian coached for the university of Washington Huskies for five years he helped develop a bowl program team. According to News Health, “during a 2013 football convention in Nashville, Tenn., Sarkisian and three assistants ordered four shots of tequila, four shots of an unspecified liquor and five beers all before noon.” Not only did Sarkisian regularly drink alcohol but also he opened the door for his assistant coaches to such lifestyles. According to News Health, “A former Washington player said the coach had arrived at some morning meetings smelling of alcohol.” Again, alcohol was definitely an addiction that Sarkisian played with and certainly would not reject.
At the beginning of the season last year, former player Anthony Brown accused Sarkisian of being a racist. Specifically, said that coach Sarkisian would stereotype him and his family. Brown also felt he was belittled and that he was treated poorly purely for the sake of the football program.
USC is tired of having troubling football seasons and is ready for a fresh start. The man that will replace Sarkisian is Clay Helton. Helton was quoted saying, “It’s a very unique honor to get it this way. Fortunately or unfortunately, I have been in this situation before, and once again am very fortunate to have a group of first-class kids that are very talented and want to do something special here.” Despite the struggles that USC is dealing with, the good news is the players are quite ready to move on from being in the spotlight of embarrassment. Current cornerback Adoree Jackson said, “ Sarkisian is a good person, but bad things happen in life you can’t have control over. We just have to keep fighting on. That’s our motto. That’s what we’ve got to do.”
Whether you’re a player, coach, or a spectator drinking in the stands, we’re all human. It’s always sad to see an issue like this affect someone’s career, but we can only pray he gets the help he needs. The morality of our leaders in this country is pitiful and we all need to realize that what we do has a dynamic significance in those we are around. Our actions speak louder than words, so having integrity is something that we all can struggle with at times.