first_imgI’m sorry: a phrase that has become too common in sports.  Over the years, we’ve heard it come out of the mouths of some of the world’s most accomplished athletes and sports figures — adulterer Tiger Woods and doper Alex Rodriguez are a couple of good examples among many more.USC football coach Steve Sarkisian echoed this very same apologetic phrase not once, but twice in a press conference before the team’s practice on Tuesday. Sarkisian appeared somewhat defeated and dispirited while he opened up and apologized about his misconduct in front of hundreds of alumni and donors at last weekend’s Salute to Troy event.It was as down as I’ve seen Sarkisian, or any college football coach for that matter, during his tenure at USC — even worse than the team’s last-second loss last year to Arizona State.Sarkisian said the moral of the story is that when you mix medicine with alcohol, you sometimes say or do things that you regret, and he’s absolutely correct — his judgment at the time obviously wasn’t right, he acted inappropriately in a situation where he was supposed to properly represent the program and the university, and he said some things that he shouldn’t have said.Now that this fiasco is almost last week’s news, though, I think that it’s time for everyone to put Sarkisian’s actions on the back burner.Sometimes, saying you’re sorry and taking responsibility for your wrongdoing simply isn’t enough, like in the cases of Woods and Rodriguez, who forever tarnished their reputations for what they did.  Sarkisian’s actions, though, don’t even go near that.In Sarkisian’s case, the time certainly did fit the crime. His apology, which came off as very genuine and sincere, was just enough. Not to forget the up-downs that his players punished him with on Monday.Some people don’t think that should be the case, though.Earlier this week, there were reports that angry alumni were contacting athletic department officials to say they wanted Sarkisian fired.He surely doesn’t need to be stripped of his coaching duties, nor does he need to be reprimanded by being suspended for a game or two.What good would that do?The only benefit I can see in further punishment would be Athletic Director Pat Haden getting the chance to show that he holds his coaches accountable — like when he suspended former men’s basketball coach Kevin O’Neill for the 2011 Pac-10 Tournament after he engaged in an alcohol-related confrontation with an Arizona booster in a Los Angeles hotel lobby.From an actual football standpoint, though, there is no incentive whatsoever to terminate or suspend Sarkisian.This program has been through enough drama in what seems to be a never-ending soap opera with constant twists and turns and the occasional curve ball out of left field with Josh Shaw’s PR nightmare last fall.The best remedy at this point for all parties involved is to simply try and move on from this unfortunate occurrence.It’s in the best interest of fans, best interest of the team, and most importantly, the best interest of coach Sarkisian.While it still remains unclear what exact problems Sarkisian is dealing with — whether it has to do with alcohol, family matters or other personal issues — he made it clear that he is, indeed, going through a hard time.Last April, it was announced that the 41-year-old coach was in the process of getting a divorce from his wife of more than 17 years. The couple also has three children.Earlier this month, Sarkisian  sold his Rolling Hills home for a mere $8.55 million, according to the Los Angeles Times. The 8,250-square-foot home reportedly had 18 TVs as well — that sure is a lot of TVs for watching college football.Nonetheless, it seems like Sarkisian’s been going through quite a lot off the field, and I don’t think he’s gotten enough credit for manning up and opening up about his issues in front of reporters — not an easy thing to do.Hopefully, Sarkisian is able to undergo whatever type of treatment he has arranged for himself so that he’s able to get through these tough times.People can continue to make all of the jokes they want about Sarkisian not being able to hold his liquor or about him being an alcoholic, but at the end of the day, his team believes in him, his team leaders believe in him and, most importantly, he believes in himself to move on and coach a very talented football team.And if this year’s team wants any chance at playing in the   Pac-12 championship game or even the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship Game, they’re going to need Sarkisian — not in rehab, not at home, but on the sidelines with his headset on and ready to go.Darian Nourian is a senior majoring in print and digital journalism. He is also the sports editor of the Daily Trojan. His column, “Persian Persuasion,” runs Fridays.last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *