Here’s my story for today’s Daily News on whether USC will punish Coach Steve Sarkisian for last weekend’s performance at Salute to Troy?
“The issue of drinking existed long before Sarkisian. Legendary coach John McKay had a booth named after him at the famous Julie’s restaurant next to the campus in the 1960’s and 70’s. Long-time employees reminisced about meeting him there after practices for a drink . . .
“Critics point to the 2012 Sun Bowl, where Kiffin sported a large scrape on his forehead. Sources within the football program said Kiffin suffered the cut when he fell in the hotel after drinking. Before the game, a female employee applied make-up to the scrape and Kiffin wore sunglasses despite the cold conditions for the game.” Full story here
USC announced tonight Steve Sarkisian will speak for 10 minutes before Tuesday’s practice. Players will then be available for 5 minutes. That’s as little time as possible to ask questions about Sarkisian. Usually, Sarkisian speaks after practices.
I just asked ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit for his take on the Steve Sarkisian situation:
”I was probably as surprised as everybody else. What made him do that? I have no idea. This is going to be a tough one to overcome. If you’re Pat Haden, I don’t know what you do there. It will be interesting to see what Pat Haden does.”
Is the Steve Sarkisian saga over? It doesn’t feel over. Even with Sunday’s statements from Sarkisian and Pat Haden there is uncertainty within the program and speculation another shoe might drop. Could he be suspended? Or worse? That might sound drastic but it is what some, including players, are thinking right now.
In an about face from last week, former tight end Bryce Dixon is going back to court tomorrow. So it looks like Dixon, who is currently not allowed to play football, is not content to put things on hold after all.