USC’s Steve Sarkisian, who has been placed on an indefinite leave of absence, certainly isn’t the first college football coach to have gotten himself into trouble. And the good news for Sarkisian is that many of the others ended up landing on their feet.
Here’s a list of some of those coaches, their scandals and the aftermaths:
-- Bobby Petrino was fired as Arkansas’ coach on April 10, 2012, for failing to disclose his intimate relationship with a woman he had hired as an assistant. He was hired as head coach at Western Kentucky in December of that year and, after an 8-4 season with the Hilltoppers, got his old job back at Louisville, where he was head coach from 2003-06.
-- Mike Price lost his job as Alabama’s coach before even coaching a game after a 2003 university investigation revealed he had spent $200 on food and drinks at a strip club and then had about $1,000 in food and drink charged to his bill by a woman staying in his hotel room the night before a recent pro-am golf tournament in Pensacola, Fla. He was hired that December by UTEP, where he remained until retiring after the 2012 season.
-- Woody Hayes was fired after 28 years as Ohio State’s coach after punching Clemson player Charlie Bauman in the throat during the 1978 Rose Bowl. He was inducted into the college football Hall of Fame as a coach in 1983.
-- Joe Paterno was fired after 46 years as Penn State’s coach Nov. 10, 2011, as part of the sex abuse scandal involving former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. The school had been forced to vacate 111 of Paterno’s victories as coach because of the scandal, but those wins were restored earlier this year as part of a settlement between the university and the NCAA, making Paterno once again the winningest coach in Division I football history.
-- Mike Leach was fired by Texas Tech in 2009 over allegations he had mistreated a player with a concussion. He denied the allegations but lost a lawsuit for wrongful termination. He has been the head coach at Washington State since 2012.
-- Jim Leavitt had been the only coach in 13-year history of the South Florida football program before he was fired in 2010 after the school determined he had grabbed a player by the throat and then lied about it. He has sinced worked as an assistant coach with the San Francisco 49ers and is now with Colorado.
-- Rick Neuheisel was ousted at Washington in 2003 for participating in an NCAA tournament basketball pool. He later filed a wrongful termination suit and received a $4.5-million settlement from the NCAA and Washington. After several years as an NFL assistant with the Baltimore Ravens, he returned to the college ranks as UCLA’s head coach from 2008-11.