Steve Sarkisian walked away with nothing after suing USC for $30 million over alleged wrongful termination. TMZ has reported that an arbitrator ruled on behalf of USC, saying Sarkisian was “not terminated on the basis of a disability,” but rather for misconduct in violation of his contract.
Because Sarkisian initially denied his alcoholism to USC, the arbitrator ruled he “must bear sole responsibility for having actively concealed from USC his claimed disabilities.”
Sarkisian sought the $12.6 million remaining on his contract plus damages.
“I am disappointed in the decision, but we will respect it and move on,” Sarkisian told TMZ. “The last two years have been trying, 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.”
Sarkisian’s troubles came to public light in August of 2015 when the clearly inebriated coach spoke to donors in a profane rant at the school’s annual Salute to Troy pre-season event. He was placed on leave following a loss to Washington and then terminated a day later.
Sarkisian spent the 2016 season as an offensive analyst at Alabama and then was promoted to offensive coordinator after Lane Kiffin was dismissed by Nick Saban in between the Tide’s Peach Bowl win over Washington and CFP title game date with Clemson. Alabama would go on to lose the championship game to the Tigers, and Sarkisian left Alabama in 2017 to become the offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons, where he remains today.
It’s worth adding that this decision means USC is no longer on the hook for paying fired football coaches (severance to Lane Kiffin has ended and now no damages to Sarkisian).
— Joey Kaufman (@joeyrkaufman) July 10, 2018
USC promoted Clay Helton to interim head coach following Sarkisian’s 2015 firing, then named him full-time head coach later that season. Helton is 27-10 as the Trojans’ head coach.