Former USC head football coach Steve Sarkisian has lost a $30 million lawsuit that claimed he was improperly fired by the school instead of being allowed to seek treatment for alcoholism.
When Sarkisian filed the lawsuit two months after he was sacked, he claimed then-athletic director Pat Haden fired him instead of giving him a chance to seek treatment for his alcoholism, which is recognized as a disability by the law, he was seeking the remaining $12.6 million left on his contract in addition to unspecified damages, according to Nathan Fenno of The Los Angeles Times. The arbitrator ruled that he was dismissed due to breach of contract rather than a disability, according to the report.
The arbitrator ruled that USC is not responsible for any further compensation and denied the suit.
Sarkisian was sacked in October 2015, two months after he appeared to be drunk during a preseason pep rally.
In a statement Monday, Sarkisian said he was 'disappointed in the decision, but we will respect it and move on'. The Trojans posted a 9-4 record in his first season and ultimately finished 20th in the Associated Press poll.
USC argued that it tried to get help for Sark after an embarrassing booze-fueled rant at a Salute to Troy event in August 2015, but at the time Steve claimed he was NOT an alcoholic and attributed the behavior to a bad reaction from mixing Rx pills with beers. The arbitrator reportedly denied all of Sarkisian's claims and said that California disability laws do "not insulate the failure to control a controllable disability nor afford an employee a second chance to control a disability in the future".
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Sarkisian went into alcohol rehabilitation treatment after he was sacked.
'The last two years have been trying, ' Sarkisian said in his statement.
After he was absent from a practice on October 11, 2015, and acted off at a team meeting, he was placed on a leave of absence by then-USC athletic director Pat Haden.
The 44-year-old Sarkisian went into alcohol rehabilitation treatment after he was sacked.
Sarkisian, who is now the offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons, sued USC for $30 million after he was sacked in 2015. The Trojans were off to a 3-2 start in 2015 prior to his dismissal.
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