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. In response, USC said Sarkisian had "mischaracterized the facts" and "repeatedly denied" to university officials that he had a problem with alcohol.
"The coach said alcoholism was a disability going by California law, but the arbitrator ruled the 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".
USC fired Sarkisian in October 2015 a couple of months after he slurred his words and cursed at a preseason pep rally.
In a statement Monday, Sarkisian said he was 'disappointed in the decision, but we will respect it and move on'.
"Much gratitude to everyone who has shown their support and stood by me".
"We are pleased that the arbitration has reached its rightful conclusion and we wish Steve Sarkisian well", USC athletic director Lynn Swann said in a statement.
"The last two years have been trying", Sarkisian said in his statement.
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.
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 weird rant at a Salute to Troy event was caught on video.
Since leaving USC, Sarkisian worked as an analyst and was the offensive coordinator for Alabama, and he is now entering his second season as the Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator.
The 44-year-old Sarkisian went into alcohol rehabilitation treatment after he was sacked. The Trojans were off to a 3-2 start in 2015 prior to his dismissal.