USC Coach Steve Sarkisian on Tuesday said his behavior at a booster event last weekend resulted from mixing alcohol and an unspecified medication, and that he would seek treatment to find out if he has a drinking problem.
“There are things we’re going to work on for me moving forward,” Sarkisian said during a news conference before practice. “But it’s a hard time.”
Sarkisian had slurred his words, used an expletive and said several opponents “suck” during the annual “Salute to Troy” kickoff event on Saturday.
He appeared drained as the Trojans resumed practice for their Sept. 5 opener against Arkansas State, and apologized again for his behavior.
“I took medication, I mixed it with alcohol, not a lot, unfortunately, and I responded in a way that was not acceptable.”
Sarkisian declined to say what type of medication he took.
“When it comes to what medication I’m taking, I think that’s an issue that really should remain private,” he said.
Sarkisian, when asked if he had a drinking problem, said, “No I don’t believe so. But through [Athletic Director] Pat [Haden] and through the university I’m going to find that out.
“I’m going to treatment. I’m going to deal with it. In the meantime, I’m going to be the head football coach here and I believe I can be. “
Sarkisian said there would no longer be alcohol in the coaches locker room after games.
“There won’t be alcohol in our building ever again,” he said.
Quarterback Cody Kessler said the team remains behind Sarkisian.
“The bottom line for us is that’s our head coach,” Kessler said. “We’re going to support him no matter what. Mistakes happen. Stuff happens. At the end of the day as a team we’ve moved on.”
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