Sarkisian apologizes for behavior at USC event: ‘Will not happen again’

USC AD Pat Haden, on his conversation with Steve Sarkisian: 'While the details of our conversation will remain between us, I am confident he heard my message loud and clear.'

Kirby Lee/Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Orange County Register, citing "multiple accounts," claims the coach "appeared to be inebriated while addressing donors, alumni and fans." The Register says Sarkisian bashed other teams, in addition to his language: 

ESPN, citing a team source, corroborated the account, reporting that "Sarkisian appeared to be drunk and was slurring his words." Per that report:

ESPN also posted video of the incident it says was provided by the team source:

Sarkisian, an L.A. native and former Trojans assistant, led USC to a 9-4 record in his first season as a head coach. This fall, the Trojans were made the Pac-12 favorite by the conference media. For some, the biggest question with this USC team is Sarkisian as its leader. While he did a good job, taking Washington from the bottom of the conference to respectability, the Huskies leveled off and couldn’t crack the top two of the Pac-12 North.

Last season, Sarkisian’s team, again, was plagued by inconsistency, losing to two unranked teams, and was blown out by arch-rival UCLA. Sarkisian also announced last spring that he is in the process of going through a divorce.

According to sources, there has been some concern about Sarkisian’s off-field behavior in the past, and now those have escalated after Saturday night’s “embarrassing display,” as one USC source put it Sunday morning. 

"I met with Coach Sarkisian and expressed my disappointment in the way he represented himself and the University at our Salute to Troy event," Haden said in a statement. "While the details of our conversation will remain between us, I am confident he heard my message loud and clear."