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Arbitrator rules in favor of USC in Sarkisian's lawsuit

11 July 2018

USC fired Steve Sarkisian back in 2015 after his struggles with alcohol abuse became a public embarrassment for the university, and the former head football coach responded by suing for wrongful termination.

Sarkisian, who first sued USC in December 2015, had sought the $12.6 million left on his contract, plus other unspecified damages for "mental anguish", alleging he was sacked rather than allowed to seek treatment for alcoholism, a disability under California law.

The case went to an arbitrator who denied every single one of Sark's claims - explaining the coach was "not terminated on the basis of any disability", but rather for misconduct in breach of his contract.

TMZ cited the arbitrator who said "Sakisian must bear sole responsibility for having actively concealed from USC his claimed disabilities" after the coach initially said he didn't suffer from alcoholism after the incident at the Salute to Troy event.

Sarkisian was sacked in October 2015, just months later, after he showed up inebriated to multiple team meetings. USC athletic director Lynn Swann released a statement on Monday, acknowledging the arbitrator's decision, which ruled against Sarkisian on all counts. 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.

Sarkisian blamed his behavior on mixing alcohol with medication before the event.

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 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".

'The last two years have been trying, ' Sarkisian said in his statement.

He was sacked five games into the 2015 season after first announcing he would take a leave of absence. They were 3-2 to start 2015.

The 44-year-old Sarkisian went into alcohol rehabilitation treatment after he was sacked.

Arbitrator rules in favor of USC in Sarkisian's lawsuit