Oct 13, 2015 10:13 AM EDT
Steve Sarkisian Fired 'Effective Immediately', Will Check Into Rehab Center (REPORTS)
Shortly after the University of Southern California (USC) asked its head football coach, Steve Sarkisian, to take an indefinite leave of absence, the school confirmed he would not return.
USC Athletic Director Pat Haden announced Sarkisian's termination in a statement posted to the Trojans' official website on Monday. Haden also confirmed that the team's offensive coordinator, Clay Helton, would remain the interim head coach.
"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," read the 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."
According to unconfirmed reports, Sarkisian showed up to USC's team meeting on Sunday apparently intoxicated. He was also said to be under the influence of alcohol during USC's game against Arizona State.
He apologized for a public drunken display at the football team's Salute to Troy event in August, but indicated he mistakenly mixed alcohol with an unspecified medication. The Los Angeles Times released a report when Sarkisian was asked to step aside that indicated the coach has a history of alcohol abuse dating back years.
SB Nation's Cyd Ziegler learned from an unnamed "source close to the coach" that Sarkisian will check into a rehabilitation facility.
"Steve Sarkisian is aware of the termination and is deeply disappointed," the source said. "But right now his No. 1 priority is getting himself well. To that end, he has checked himself into a residential treatment facility. He's grateful for all the support that will help him get through this difficult time."
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