Maya Dondonyan | Daily TrojanSteve Sarkisian has officially been terminated as USC football’s head coach, Athletic Director Pat Haden announced Monday.The decision to fire Sarkisian comes just a day after Haden asked him to take an indefinite leave of absence, following his absence at the team’s practice on Sunday.“After careful consideration of what is in the best interest of the University and our student-athletes, I have made the decision to terminate Steve Sarkisian, effective immediately,” Haden said in a statement.Haden named offensive coordinator Clay Helton the interim head coach of the Trojans on Sunday after determining that Sarkisian was clearly “not healthy.”“I want to thank Clay Helton for stepping into the interim head coach role, and I want to add how proud I am of our coaching staff and players and the way they are responding to this difficult situation,” Haden said in the statement. “Through all of this, we remain concerned for Steve and hope that it will give him the opportunity to focus on his personal well-being.In August, the 41-year-old Sarkisian admitted to mixing an unspecified medication with alcohol and said that he would seek treatment after exhibiting unsuitable behavior at the annual Salute to Troy event. He later apologized, but a number of boosters had already begun to call for his job after he shouted expletives and threw jabs at the team’s opponents, while slurring his words in front of many big donors to the University.When asked if he had a drinking problem at the time, Sarkisian said, “I don’t believe so.”Based on a report released on Monday by the Los Angeles Times, it appears that Sarkisian may have been wrong about his difficulties with alcohol — issues with drinking have followed him from his days as a head coach at Washington.Sarkisian, who was hired in December 2013, went 12-6 during his short 18-game tenure as head coach of USC — the same record that former coach Lane Kiffin attained through his first 18 games.In his only full season with the Trojans, Sarkisian led the team to a 9-4 record and a victory over Nebraska in the National University Holiday Bowl.During his tenure, Sarkisian was also able to put together a pair of nationally renowned recruiting classes.Expectations for Sarkisian and the Trojans were high entering this season; the team was picked to win the Pac-12 Conference in a preseason media poll.USC (3-2, 1-2 Pac-12), who was ranked as high as No. 6 in the AP Top 25 poll, fell from the rankings after suffering an embarrassing loss at the hands of an unranked Washington, Sarkisian’s former program, at home last Thursday.“This one is on me,” Sarkisian said after the game.Before coming to USC, Sarkisian rebuilt the Huskies’ program over five years as head coach, though, he only eclipsed the seven-win mark once during his tenure.With pressure at an all-time high, Haden and the Athletics Department begin their second coaching search in three years. Speculation has risen that USC is in the early stages of putting together a target list of head coaches to pursue.The Trojans, now unranked, will be forced to move on without Sarkisian and faces a tough task ahead, traveling to South Bend, Indiana, to take on No. 14-ranked Notre Dame this Saturday.With Helton now at the helm, the Trojans will return to practice on Howard Jones Field on Tuesday.“They still have a lot of things out there that we can obtain,” Helton said. “We have a big game versus Notre Dame this week, the opportunity to still compete for the South championship in the Pac-12, and again, I’m very fortunate to have a group around me as a staff that is as first class as they get.”As Haden pointed out in his abrupt press conference on Sunday, Helton is undefeated in the head coaching role at USC. He previously coached the Trojans to victory over Fresno State in the Las Vegas Bowl in 2013.Editors note: This article was updated at 9:46 p.m.
Daniel Amartey has become the sixth Ghanaian player in the English top flight after Leciester City confirmed his anticipated move on Friday.”Leicester City Football Club is delighted to confirm the signing of Daniel Amartey from FC Copenhagen on a contract until 2020, subject to Football Association, Premier League and international clearance,” a club statement reads. FC Copenhagen first announced acceptance of a Leicester bid at the start of the week, signaling the move for the highly-rated 21-year-old.Amartey has six caps for Ghana and can be deployed in both in central midfield and at right-back. His move is the English club’s second new this month, after they copped England youth international Demarai Gray. The player has been in the UK for the last couple of days to complete a medical and finalise personal terms. No fee for the move was disclosed by either party. Amartey is excited about the future. “It’s a great pleasure to join Leicester City. I know the Club have been interested in signing me for some time and that was a big part of my decision to come here,” he told the club website. “All over Europe, people are talking about Leicester City and how well the Club is doing in the Premier League. The team plays exciting, attacking football and I’m looking forward to being part of it.” He trained with his new teammates for the first time on Friday. WHAT’S AMARTEY’S STORY?Joy News profiled Daniel Amartey through the eyes of his former manager, Delali Senaye, earlier this week. The video also includes a highlights reel of Amartey’s best goals in Europe. CLICK HERE TO WATCH VIDEOCopenhagen manager Stale Solbakken said: “Daniel has been a role model and a key player for us. He has improved dramatically and faster than anyone could have expected.”He has handled his success and all the attention extremely well, and it is a dream come true for him to play in the Premier League for a club who have targeted him for a longer period.”We wish Daniel all the best in the Premier League and we are sure he will have a great career.” CLICK HERE TO WATCH VIDEO–
What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke The selection of Cam Newton early in the draft Thursday could effect the Cardinals greatly, even if he ends up in a Panthers uniform. With the combination of labor uncertainty and the Panthers holding their plans for the first overall pick so closely, this is one of the murkiest drafts to project in the history of the NFL. All this speculation leaves the Cardinals in a precarious position with almost no idea how the top-four will shake out before they are on the clock. “I think everybody kind of figures they are going to take him number one but they haven’t said anything one way or another.”But if they go with a different player, the decision could affect the Cardinals who will be forced to debate if Newton is the answer should he last to number five. On the eve of the draft, Graves is probably wishing Moon is a little bit more sure than 90 percent. 0 Comments Share Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away Top Stories Cardinals general manager Rod Graves joined Sports 620 KTAR’s Doug and Wolf show Wednesday and said he would want to know the Panther’s plans more than any other team ahead of the Cardinals in the draft. “I think what Carolina does will dictate what happens really throughout that first round,” Graves said.“Whether they decide to ultimately go with a quarterback or whether they go with some other position, I think it’s going to have a huge bearing on what takes place. I’d like to know if I could what they are going to do but the possibility of that is probably unlikely.”The Panthers had the league’s worst passing offense in 2010 but Newton could step in as the dynamic answer they covet after scoring 50 total touchdowns en route to a National Championship and Heisman trophy at Auburn last year. Newton’s mentor and Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon put the odds of his protege ending up in Carolina at 90 percent on the Doug and Wolf show Wednesday. “Usually at this point, a team has pretty much played their hand if there was a guy that they were going to take at that position and maybe even started negotiations with the guy this late if they really felt they were going to take that guy number one. Carolina has really played their hand close to the vest,” Moon said.