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Steve Sarkisian stepping aside at USC as details come out

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

USC mess. USC athletic director Pat Haden has instructed coach Steve Sarkisian to take a leave of absence, reportedly for substance abuse treatment, after Sarkisian failed to show up to practice Sunday and was "not healthy" when Haden called. Sarkisian reportedly showed up less-than-sober to a special teams meeting that morning as well.

This is not Sarkisian's first alcohol-related incident. He apologized after appearing drunk at a booster event in August, with multiple former Washington players making comments on social media of the following nature:

More emerged Sunday. From ESPN's Brett McMurphy:

Sarkisian was also suspected by his staff to be under the influence during USC's 42-14 win over Arizona State on Sept. 26, a source said, though Haden was apparently unaware.

From FOX Sports' Bruce Feldman:

Some [USC boosters and others] were uncomfortable with hiring Sarkisian two years ago due to concerns over his drinking, and they also were skeptical whether he was ready to handle the USC job. He had spent five seasons at Washington and never had a better conference record than 5-4.

To some inside USC, Sarkisian's Salute to Troy incident wasn't taken seriously enough by Haden. (Sarkisian reportedly apologized to his players and did up-downs as punishment, according to quarterback Cody Kessler.) 'They run it like a damn country club,' one USC booster said in late August. 'It's an embarrassment.'

Sources tell FOX Sports that there have been times where his players had smelled alcohol on Sarkisian's breath at practice in the past.

A receipt from his time at UW shows he expensed $500 worth of alcohol at a restaurant. It's unclear how many people were with him at the time, but the Los Angeles Times was able to obtain several other similar records.

Offensive coordinator Clay Helton will be the Trojans' interim coach. The team plays at Notre Dame on Saturday.

Edsall fired. Maryland fired coach Randy Edsall on Sunday after yet another loss to a ranked foeHere's how he'll be remembered by Marylandand here's who could replace himTestudo Times talked to a Maryland booster about the situation.

Injury update. Star Georgia running back Nick Chubb tore his PCL and damaged two other ligaments against Tennessee, and he will miss the rest of the season. He will have surgery in two weeks but is expected to make a full recovery.

Odds shakeup. Who would have thought a month ago that Michigan would be a touchdown favorite over Michigan State and Washington would be favored over Oregon?


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