USC Coach Steve Sarkisian, called ‘not healthy’, placed on indefinite leave – Los Angeles Times

Football Coach Steve Sarkisian, who has been under scrutiny since August for his sometimes erratic behavior, was put on indefinite leave Sunday, once again throwing USC’s powerful program into turmoil.

Athletic Director Pat Haden announced the move, saying he made the decision after calling Sarkisian when the coach failed to show up for a midday practice.

“It was very clear to me that he is not healthy,” Haden said of the conversation. “I asked him to take an indefinite leave of absence.”

The workout, in preparation for USC’s game Saturday against Notre Dame, was the Trojans’ first since Thursday’s 17-12 upset loss to the University of Washington. USC, which started the season ranked eighth in the nation in the Associated Press media poll and as the favorite to win the Pac-12 Conference championship, dropped out of the rankings as a result.

Sarkisian coached at Washington for five seasons before USC hired him to replace the fired Lane Kiffin. He took responsibility for the loss, saying he and his staff had not coached well enough.

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