Haden: Action we took for Sarkisian 'in best interest of USC'

USC athletic director Pat Haden's decision on a course of action for Trojans head coach Steve Sarkisian came after Haden consulted not only with USC staff members but medical professionals as well, Haden told USC's "Trojans Live" radio show on Monday.

Sarkisian said he mixed alcohol and medication before an embarrassing appearance at the "Salute to Troy" rally last month, which prompted Haden's action. Haden did not suspend Sarkisian, however, and the coach will be on the sideline as USC opens the season against Arkansas State on Saturday.

"I understand a lot of people are going to disagree with my decision -- it happens all the time," Haden said, per The Los Angeles Times. "I believe the course of action we chose was really in the best interest of USC and Steve Sarkisian and maybe just as important, or more importantly, our players."

Haden said "careful thought" was given to developing a plan for Sarkisian, one that he called confidential. Sarkisian, for his part, revealed little about that plan after meeting with Haden, but did say a rehab stay isn't in the plan for now. Instead, a determination on whether rehab is needed will follow a series of counseling meetings.

Sarkisian has also handed off play-calling duties to assistant coach Clay Helton, though Sarkisian said that was a football decision, and not one stemming from the incident that resulted in Haden's action.

*Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter **@ChaseGoodbread*.

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