The school fired Sarkisian in the middle of the 2015 season — his second as coach — due to personal misconduct that came to light after a bizarre rant at a Salute to Troy event was caught on video. Sarkisian blamed a mixture of medicine and alcohol for the incident, and was fired two months later for missing practice and reportedly showing up intoxicated.
Sarkisian claimed in the suit that USC didn’t help him with his alcoholism, and that he was terminated because of the disability. The arbitrator ruled that he was dismissed due to breach of contract rather than a disability, according to the report.
“I am disappointed in the decision, but we will respect it and move on,” Sarkisian told TMZ. “Much gratitude to everyone who has shown their support and stood by me.”
Sarkisian came to USC — where he enjoyed years of success as an assistant in the 2000s — as the man who many believed could get the Trojans back to their winning ways after the Lane Kiffin era ended. After posting a 34-29 years in five years as the coach at Washington, Sarkisian went 9-4 and won the Holiday Bowl in his first season in Los Angeles in 2014. The Trojans were off to a 3-2 start in 2015 prior to his dismissal.
Sarkisian went on to serve as an analyst for Alabama in 2016, and filled in for Kiffin as the Crimson Tide offensive coordinator in the College Football Playoff National Championship loss to Clemson January 2017. He is currently entering his second season as the offensive coordinator of the Atlanta Falcons.