USC football coach explains embarrassing drunken rant at kickoff event

USC football coach Steve Sarkisian says he will seek treatment after he had to be pulled offstage at a preseason banquet while delivering a drunken, profane rant about the team’s opponents.

The incident happened Saturday night at the annual “Salute to Troy” event for donors. ESPN reports that athletic director Pat Haden “had to intervene and was seen berating Sarkisian backstage afterward.”

Sarkisian issued a statement apologizing the next morning. On Tuesday, he met with the media for the first time and further explained what happened. He says it was the result of mixing alcohol and medication. From reporters on the scene:

He added that he did “up-downs” — an endurance drill — as punishment.

Leaked video of the event showed Sarkisian yelling, “Get ready to f—— fight on baby.”


USC is one of the favourites in the Pac-12 South and a contender to make the College Football Playoff. Sarkisian took over the team before the 2014 season after the school fired Lane Kiffin.

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