Steve Sarkisian's indefinite leave of absence lasted less than 24 hours. On Monday afternoon, USC AD Pat Haden announced he had fired Sarkisian after posting a 12-6 mark in a season and a half in Los Angeles.
"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.
"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."
USC is the fourth FBS program to announce a coaching change in 2015, and third in the last 48 hours, following Illinois, Maryland and North Texas. Needless to say, the Trojans jump to the front of the line for any and all available coaches.
The immediate question: is Haden the right guy to make that hire? The highlights of his now five years running his alma mater include hiring Lane Kiffin, then firing him at the airport; hiring a basketball coach based off one successful NCAA Tournament weekend, only to see him go 23-41 in his first two seasons; sustaining a fine for what Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott called attempting "to influence the officiating, and ultimately the outcome of a contest" at Stanford last season; mismanaging Sarkisian over the past two months; and now firing him after 18 underwhelming games as head coach.
And, in a more important angle to this sad story, it's obviously been a devastating end to a tumultuous year for Sarkisian. Here's hoping this proves to be the catalyst that Sark uses to quickly become the best version of himself that he can be.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.
Update> SB Nation is reporting that Sark has checked himself into a residential treatment facility. A source told SBN, "He's grateful for all the support that will help him get through this difficult time."