LOS ANGELES — Southern California athletic director Pat Haden says he fired Steve Sarkisian after the football coach failed to meet the school's standards and expectations.
Haden took responsibility for Sarkisian's hiring Tuesday, but said a thorough background check before the decision revealed no potential problems with the coach. Sarkisian was fired Monday, five games into his second season.
USC President Max Nikias issued a statement in strong support of Haden, who is under scrutiny for his handling of Sarkisian's problems and the football team's struggles under Sarkisian.
Haden and interim coach Clay Helton spoke after the Trojans went back to work in their usual morning practice. They will be at No. 14 Notre Dame on Saturday for their annual rivalry game.
Helton says he won't discuss Sarkisian's private life or behavior.