USC’s Sarkisian apologizes for drunken speech at team rally

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Head coach Steve Sarkisian of the USC Trojans (GETTY IMAGES)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Southern California coach Steve Sarkisian has publicly apologized for his drunken appearance at a team rally last weekend, attributing his slurred, profane speech to a combination of alcohol and medication.

Before the eighth-ranked Trojans practiced Tuesday morning, Sarkisian made his first public comments about his embarrassing performance at the Salute to Troy last Saturday.

Sarkisian says he doesn’t think he has a drinking problem, but will undergo unspecified treatment to find out. He says he’s banning alcohol from campus and the Coliseum for the coaching staff.

Sarkisian declined to specify what medication he is taking, but says he was impaired after combining it with “not very much” alcohol.

Two players made available to reporters say the team supports Sarkisian, the second-year USC coach who went 9-4 last season.

Sarkisian previously coached the University of Washington Huskies.