More controversy at USC as player quits, accuses former UW coach Steve Sarkisian of racism
Los Angeles, CA (KTLA) — Just one day after USC football co-captain Josh Shaw was suspended after admitting he fabricated a heroic story about rescuing his nephew from drowning to explain ankle injuries, a back-up running back quit the team and accused head coach Steve Sarkisian of being a racist on Thursday.
Anthony Brown, a former cornerback who recently switched positions to tailback, left the team about a week ago, according to USC Sports Information Director Tim Tessalone.
He publicly announced his decision through his personal Twitter and Instagram accounts, in which he also accused Sarkisian of racism.
“Sark treated me like a slave in his Office…Can’t play for a racist MAN!!!!! #Fighton,” a post on Brown’s Instagram account stated.
A tweet from his Twitter account read, “Couldn’t play for a racist man!!!!!!!!!!! #FightOn.”
Both the tweet and Instagram post have since been deleted, but they were captured in screenshots on the sports website Scout.com.
Sarkisian responded by calling the allegations “ridiculous,” the Los Angeles Times reported.
“That’s about the furthest thing from the truth.” Sarkisian told the Times.
Several current and former players have publicly come to the USC head coach’s defense.
“Coach Sark is a great person/Coach! Please disregard comments that have been made by someone,” USC defensive tackle Antwaun Woods tweeted.
Former USC quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Matt Leinart chimed in, also calling the allegations ridiculous.
“I know Sark as well as anyone. He is the farthest thing from a racist. This is a ridiculous claim!” Leinart tweeted.
As the new controversy was unfolding, Sarkisian addressed Josh Shaw’s future on the team, telling reporters on Thursday that the senior cornerback could “potentially” return sometime this season, according to the Times.
Shaw was suspended indefinitely from all team activities after admitting he made up the story about how he sprained his ankles. Shaw initially told the university he jumped from a second-story balcony to rescue his nephew, who couldn’t swim, from a swimming pool.
He later apologized for the lie, the university said.
USC opens its season Saturday at home against Fresno State.