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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

FORMER ROUGHRIDER QB TO SEEK TREATMENT FOR ALCOHOL USE

LOS ANGELES - Southern California coach Steve Sarkisian publicly apologized Tuesday for his drunken appearance at a team rally last weekend, attributing his slurred, profane speech to a combination of alcohol and medication.

Sarkisian - a former quarterback with the CFL's Saskatchewan Roughriders from 1997-1999 - plans to seek unspecified treatment, but the second-year Trojans coach doesn't believe he has a drinking problem.

"I was not right, and I think the moral of the story is this: When you mix meds with alcohol, sometimes you say things and/or do things that you regret, and I regret it,'' Sarkisian said. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry for all of our fans and donors and all the people that were in attendance, but I'm going to move forward, and we're going to be great. I can't wait to start coaching again today.''

Sarkisian was penitent in his comments before the eighth-ranked Trojans practiced on campus, but he expressed confidence in his ability to remain in charge despite his embarrassing performance in front of his players, fans and alumni at the Salute to Troy.

Sarkisian slurred his words, disparaged some of USC's upcoming opponents and used profane phrases before leaving the podium. The coach hasn't been suspended or publicly disciplined by USC athletic director Pat Haden beyond a scolding in a brief public statement.

Sarkisian doesn't believe he has substance abuse issues that would require him to step away from the Trojans, who open the season Sept. 5 at the Coliseum against Arkansas State.

"I don't know if I even need rehab,'' Sarkisian said. "That's part of the process, and I credit Pat Haden for this, that he has put things in place for me to have meetings to figure that out, and I'll address them as they come. I've got a great staff that can support me along the way, and we'll see what comes out of it.''

Sarkisian declined to specify what medication he is taking, but said he was impaired after combining it with "not a lot'' of alcohol. The program is banning alcohol from campus and the Coliseum for the coaching staff. Alcohol was never available to players' locker room, Sarkisian confirmed.

"There won't be alcohol in our building ever again,'' Sarkisian said.

Sarkisian also said he was personally done drinking for the season.

Quarterback Cody Kessler and linebacker Su'a Cravens believe the players support Sarkisian, who went 9-4 last season after rejoining the program where he spent two stints as an assistant coach under Pete Carroll. The Trojans are a popular preseason pick to win the Pac-12 title in their first season after the expiration of heavy NCAA sanctions.

"He came to us as a man, apologized, looked us in the face, told us things, and that's hard to do,'' said Kessler, a fifth-year senior who has known Sarkisian since early in his high school career. "But at the end of the day, I think he earned more respect from us and the team, and I think it brought us closer together.''

Kessler and Cravens said the team's leadership council assigned Sarkisian to do unspecified physical punishment drills Monday, just as they would for a teammate who missed a meeting or made a similar mistake. Sarkisian ``came in just drenched'' in sweat after his punishment workout, Kessler said with a smile.

The 41-year-old Sarkisian's wife, Stephanie, filed for divorce in April. They have three children.

Sarkisian's misstep is just the latest embarrassment in an epic list of misadventures for the Trojans in the six years since Carroll's departure for the NFL's Seattle Seahawks.

Former coach Lane Kiffin was involved in multiple embarrassments during his 3 1/2-year tenure. Sarkisian's first season in charge featured extensive weirdness, including everything from cornerback Josh Shaw's infamous phoney preseason story about his injured ankles to a strange sideline confrontation with officials featuring Sarkisian and Haden during a victory at Stanford.

"We've dealt with much worse,'' Cravens said of Sarkisian's latest misstep. "Obviously everybody makes mistakes, and it's just another one of those things where it's tough. You've got to deal with it, and we've moved on. He's still our head coach at the end of the day, and we love him and support him 100 per cent.''

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

A few things:

1) If anyone has every suffered and the term is suffered from the disease of alcoholism there is help out there if you ask for it. It is a serious matter. This man should not lose his job, should not be punished, but should be supported by USC to get back on track.

2) Facebook had a Darryl Sydor question trending. What punishment should he face for DUI and having his son in the car. Once again it's a rush to judgement for punishment. Assess if the man made a mistake and provide him either support or education.

Y'er Welcome
Obama

Anonymous said...

Get the help you need and return to your job , that is how it should work, but as we have experienced with a mental illness in the family, the job is not always there for you. labelled a person with "issues" makes it hard to find another job.

Anonymous said...

Admitting there is a problem is what, the first step. Apparently he is not there yet.
Y'er also welcome

Anonymous said...

Since 1987, I have been a recovering alcoholic. With all of my family, co-workers, priests, doctors etc, nobody is able to help you because they do not have the problem. The first step is admitting you have a problem. Then and only then are you able to help yourself through the strength of others with the same problem.I went to my first AA meeting in September 1987 and the rest is history. I feel great,live an active lifestyle but am still cognizant of the fact that I am one drink away from going back to that same horrific lifestyle.I was unable to stop at 1 drink.. Good Luck to Steve or anyone else that is still suffering from this . Thanks Rod for posting this article...PB

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Bleacherreport.com is say Riders signed a new QB. How there is nothing on this site?

Anonymous said...

JC Shurburtt @jcshurburtt

Former #Clemson star Tajh Boyd heading to #CFL http://bit.ly/1NT3Cv7 @ESPNUpstate @reecomedy @RyanBartow

Anonymous said...

This is absolute fact.I have nothing against booze at all, even have booze in my house.But some of us are unable to handle it.One is too many and a 1000 is not enough.Thanks for posting Rod and pb

Anonymous said...

AUGUST 25, 2015, 11:13 AM
Darryl Sydor has entered a treatment centre after being arrested under the suspicion of drunken driving with his 12-year-old son as a passenger.

The Minnesota Wild assistant coach voluntarily enrolled in the NHL/NHL Players’ Association Substance Abuse/Behavioral Health Program on Sunday, according to a report by Michael Russo of the Star Tribune.

Three days after his arrest, the 43-year-old admitted himself into a Malibu, Calif., treatment centre, where he will spend at least the next 30 days.

“He’s hurt, he’s upset, he’s embarrassed by his actions, and his family is, too,” Sydor’s lawyer, Ryan Pacyga, told Russo. “Right now, it’s about Darryl taking care of himself and really getting his arms around this.

“He’s so worried about his family and the team right now. I told him, ‘You’ve got to take this time to work on you because without you being good with you, none of that other stuff is going to be around anyway. So have the courage to be vulnerable and have the courage to go deep inside yourself where you don’t want to go.’ ”

Anonymous said...

Is this a diversion to get our minds of the Roughrider trainwreck?

Anonymous said...

Hey anonymous trainwreck commenter...cram it.

Anonymous said...

Riders SUCK !!!!