A Dark Sark Day

New Southern California football head coach Steve Sarkisian pauses for a moment during a news conference on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013, in Los Angeles. USC hired Sarkisian away from Washington on Monday, bringing back the former Trojans offensive coordinator to his native Los Angeles area and the storied program where he thrived as Pete Carroll's assistant. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

So I was just about to write-up a post about the dismal Sarkisian situation this Monday morning, and as it turns out, he was fired in a matter of hours, right after lunchtime PST to be exact.¬† Didn’t know it could get any worse ūüėõ

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This is definitely one of the darkest times USC football has ever faced. The head football coach has become persona non grata on campus, go figure.  Reggie can now plan his celebrated return, Bush pushing it back to Heritage Hall.

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The issue of Sark being a drunk shouldn’t really come as a surprise to us SC fans, let alone Pat Haden.¬† Apparently the Washington Huskies, his previous coaching job before taking on SC, were well aware of his addiction and some players even took to their Twitter to LOL about the situation.

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Fox Sports even reported several additional incidents that involved Sark and the bottle. Among the reported incidents:

‚ÄĘ One former Huskies player claims he “smelled alcohol” on Sarkisian at team meetings “one or two” times;

‚ÄĘ Another ex-Huskie said that in 2009, Sarkisian sometimes arrived at meetings “smelling like booze” and with his “eyes all red”;

‚ÄĘ Two other former Huskies said Sarkisian and other coaches regularly drank alcohol in their offices;

‚ÄĘ Several receipts obtained by the Times¬†show hefty tabs for alcohol paid for in Sarkisian’s name.

So how was Pat Haden not aware of ANY of this?  How was this guy even hired?

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This unfortunate incident sadly exposes a gaping issue that is bigger than crunk Sarkisian, which could be an even more detrimental to the program.¬† As University Athletic Director, Pat Haden is responsible for managing all athletic programs and hiring those sufficient enough to run said programs.¬† Haden is 0 for 2 with the football program. ¬†He didn’t hire Lane Kiffin, but he did drag that along quite nicely. The white visor-wearing douche was a complete disgrace.¬† Coach O was the only savior that graced the football program’s presence finishing the regular season on a high note and he was an interim! Promptly after the season ended, Haden dismissed him in order to make room for Jose Cuervo.¬† Coach O was so distraught by Haden’s decision that he didn’t even stay to coach the team in the Las Vegas Bowl.

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Now this a fun trip down memory lane, remember when Haden and Sarkisian got in trouble? On September 8, 2014 he and USC football coach Steve Sarkisian were reprimanded by Pac-12 Conference commissioner Larry Scott for attempting “to influence the officiating, and ultimately the outcome of a contest” during the September 6 game with Stanford. Haden was fined $25,000.¬† Yea that was fun…..

Haden’s employee vetting almost reminds me of a certain under-qualified Vice Presidential candidate…….

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Pat Haden must be under some serious fire, putting him in the HOT seat.¬† I mean ridiculously HOT, the HOT that is only found in HELL, HOT.¬† The man has only been Athletic Director for roughly 5 years.¬† I understand that the deistic legacy of Pete Carroll still runs deep within the program and forever will be until the man gets a gold statue on campus, but that doesn’t mean we need to try and desperately hang on to every individual that had some sort of connection to the winning program.¬† I know it may be hard to digest, but USC needs to start fresh and try and establish a new order.

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I know it’s scary to go out and try something new guys, but in the long run you will be respected for it even if you falter for a short while.¬† But then again this is College Football we’re talking about, the one athletic program that is so highly coveted that some universities’ entire endowment is given just to the football program.¬† Clearly our priorities are in line.

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All we can do in the interim is hope that Sarkisian seeks out the proper rehabilitation treatment to help him alleviate his alcohol addiction.  AND for Haden to get a clue

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Sark After Dark

So Steve Sarkisian got a little crunk on the big Salute to Troy night for the USC Football Program. According to several sources, he was fumbling around, used foul language and insulted other programs, particularly Notre Dame, Oregon and UCLA (nice).¬† This became dreadfully apparent after he showcased his inner frat boy while screaming “Fight the Fuck On,” into the podium mic right in front of the baby boomer big time donors.¬† Once his three sheets to the wind state became brazenly evident, Pat Haden immediately escorted him off the stage and began scolding him behind closed doors.¬† Thanks Dad.

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The only real sources from that night is a 5 second video clip from some random, a few tweets here and there and straight word of mouth…like the good old days.

LA Times Sports columnist Bill Plaschke released a quite alarming video stressing the issue that USC really needs to be concerned about coach Steve Sarkisian’s behavior at the Salute to Troy event.

It’s almost as if he is rooting for some sort of immediate termination.¬† Sarkisian released a statement claiming that he mixed prescription medicine with alcohol, mind you that this alcohol was completely free all night and most likely the best money can buy.¬† Any intelligent individual would have to agree that his behavior was irresponsible, childish and wrong, especially because he is the head football coach, one of the highest positions of authority on campus, some may even argue even in the Pac-12 Conference.

Im-Cool-gifSo Plaschke’s reactionary video draws up some important points but I think his response was more so fueled by that “shocking” gossip chatter that many nowadays consider actual news. The guy is going through a messy divorce and decided to throw back a few free drinks.¬† Who wouldn’t do the same? The only difference is that this guy had to go up and make a speech in front of hundreds of people, the same people who have very deep pockets, pockets that would like to be lightened by generous donations and such.¬† Plaschke has every right to say what he thinks and feels, that’s why the LA times pays him.¬† However, this Plaschke response seems a bit exaggerated, placing emphasis on buzz worthy words like “problems,” “humiliation,” and of course, the cliche “this is your wake-up call.”¬† Did Sarkisian even need a wake-up call in the first place? ¬† How his players look at him is not the problem at all Plaschke, if anything his players are applauding this type of behavior because they can relate first-hand, “Hey, coach gettin’ turnt up!”

Turnt01Funny because a year ago, Plaschke was singing his praises…

Funny how things can change over the span of 1 year, 1 incident no less.

Sarkisian has a lot of responsibilities that he must be held to on and off the field.¬† This unfortunate event couldn’t have come at a worse time for USC.¬† This is the first year USC is off NCAA probation.¬† The Class of 2015 is the first full recruiting class USC has been able to put together for the first time in four years.¬† This is still USC’s year, their time to rise and shine despite Sarkisian’s antics.¬† Don’t ride off a team just because their coach got drunk.¬† I bet you anything Les Miles does this shit all the time.¬† Then again, that is the sacred SEC and this is the menial Pac-12, standards could be a bit skewed.

EDSBS-Les-Miles-ClapI don’t think a formal punishment is necessary.¬† I think the shame and embarrassment alone will suffice for now until the season even starts.¬† Sarkisian knows what he has to do this season to shut people up: WIN.

anigif_enhanced-buzz-4762-1388429483-17One thing is still certain though.  He is still better than Kiffin.

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No Joy in TrojanLand

Well here is to another loss for the once no.1 ranked USC Trojans. ¬†At least it was against an incredibly talented opponent who is competing for the BCS National Championship. ¬†But it’s hard to take a loss to¬†same Oregon team the Trojans beat last year, an Oregon team that has all same star power and potential the Trojans have. ¬†So what the hell is going on?

Could it be the khaki wearing white visor head let’s hide behind my laminated play card Kiffin? ¬†Could it be the Trojans head coach who is messing up what should have been a stellar season? ¬†Is it fair to just blame one guy? ¬†Hell no, but it’s easier and takes away the pain of a failure…..well…just for a bit anyways.

The Trojans have become a three loss disaster, plagued with mounting penalties and shame.  The team set historic lows with Oregon last week for both years (730) and points (62) allowed.  And after one of the ugliest nights the Coliseum has ever seen, USC has fallen to fifth place in the Pac-12 Conference, ranked behind city rival UCLA in the BCS and appear destined for the Holiday Bowl.   The Bruins!?!?!?  The Holiday Bowl??!?!  OMG, WTF happened to this team?!

Sports Illustrated Magazine asked Kiffin how much of the blame should be placed on him and the coaching staff, Kiffin reluctantly responded saying, “All of it.” ¬†GOOD. ¬†Because it is. ¬†No DUH. ¬†The team’s performance hasn’t matched the talent all season. ¬†It is such an embarrassment. ¬†It really feels like a riches to rags story.

To be fair Kiffin has had to deal with harsh NCAA violations coming into the job, which includes a two-year bowl ban and 30 scholarships revoked for the next three years. ¬†Hmmm, funny. ¬†This is the first season the scholarship restrictions kicked in. ¬†A sign? ¬†Thank GOD Kiffin recognizes the talent running through his program, “”With the players that we have, we should not be 6-3,” Kiffin said on his Sunday conference call with USC beat writers. “There’s only one person for that to fall on — that’s me as the head coach.”

Maybe Kiffin wasn’t the best choice for USC. ¬†Just look at his track record, it ain’t so swell with a career record 36-31. ¬† The Raiders fired him and Tennessee University named their sewage system after he bailed on the Vols football program to head back to sunny SoCal. ¬†He was only at Tennessee for one season! ¬†Kiffin is 0-3 against Stanford, one of the most inexcusable defeats this year. The Trojans also lost to an Arizona State team last season that fired its coach and earlier this season fell to an Arizona squad that UCLA beat 66-10 on Saturday. ¬†The BRUINS again!?!?!

Quarterback Matt Barkley doesn’t seem to be improving and his NFL draft stock is going nowhere but down. ¬†SC’s defensive coordinator, Monte Kiffin (Lane Kiffin’s old man) is just soo beyond bad there are no words to describe it. ¬†Apparently the old man gets paid $1.5 million a year. ¬†Good GOD. ¬†That money is better earned by the water boy than him. ¬†The Gatorade bins and water cups are always filled promptly, the defense on the other hand would be lucky to finish a game with the glass half full.

Funny to think that Kiffin voted his team no.1 in the preseason coaches poll has now fallen to no. 21. ¬†Apparently Kiffin’s childish and immature antics that defined his tenure at Tennessee have returned. ¬†Already he has lied about participating in the coaches poll vote in the preseason, pulled off jersey changes to trick the Colorado Buffalos and banned a local beat writer for reporting injuries…..hmmm what would that be called? ¬†Oh yeah! Honest Reporting!

Sad to think Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian, head coach at Washington, were both the Golden Boys under Pete Carroll.  Now look at them.  Stevie if flying high at Washington and Kiffin is a hot SoCal mess.  Kiffin has a 3-8 record against ranked college football opponents.  Is it too much to ask how Kiffin got to USC in the first place?  Was our football program that desperate to scramble and find a coach?

Kiffin can recruit, no doubt about it but, sad to say, it just doesn’t match his actual coaching abilities. ¬†The Trojans clearly don’t lack talent. ¬†They just lack discipline. ¬†Just count how many penalties the team has already accumulated. ¬†They lead the nation by a landslide, averaging at least 10 penalties a game. ¬†It’s pathetic. ¬†¬†Some say Kiffin cares more about appearance and style than substance. ¬†Maybe he doesn’t have the patience or maturity to be head coach.

Things will most likely get worse next year for the Trojans before they get better. ¬†USC has two more seasons with a loss of 10 scholarship players. ¬†Should SC get rid of Kiffin? ¬†Not yet. ¬†They can’t. ¬†Who else is out there? ¬†I say give the visor wearing khaki loving coach another year. ¬†See if he can salvage what is left of USC football pride. ¬†I mean, can next year get any worse?

Next year won’t be worse than this year because the expectations won’t nearly be as high. ¬†The Trojans are not going to start the season as no.1, HELL, they might not even be ranked in the top 25. ¬†And they shouldn’t, they don’t deserve it, which might be a good thing. ¬†Starting off the season with low expectations might be the best thing to ever happen to the Trojans. ¬†If you’re at the bottom there is nowhere to go but UP right? ¬†I think it will help the players grow, learn from their mistakes and become a team that doesn’t rest on the glamour, the hype, the so-called “style” that Kiffin is supposedly accustomed to. ¬†The real question is: Can the team do it without Kiffin? Better yet: Does the team want to do it without Kiffin?

With his previous coaching jobs producing failed seasons, Kiffin keeps on surprising us by landing better jobs despite never accomplishing much.  After this travesty of a season, will Kiffin still land a better job than USC head coach?  Better yet, will Kiffin ever get USC out of this disgustingly embarrassing mess?  It seems very unlikely that Kiffin will ever see the light of day.    Well, at least not while he is hiding behind that play card.
Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/pete_thamel/11/05/lane-kiffin/index.html#ixzz2BU4xfEka