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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Sports SCene: Sarkisian Fired; Blake Edwards In-Studio

With Steve Sarkisian out as USC's head football coach, replacement Clay Helton and AD Pat Haden address the media for the first time.

It’s been a long week at USC and it’s only Tuesday. The Sports SCene crew dives into the firing of head football coach Steve Sarkisian, as Keely Eure and Kristen Lago give an insider look about what really happened at practice on Sunday when Sarkisian was missing. 

Athletic Director Pat Haden has had his job placed in jeopardy in the eyes of many in the general public, but Haden addressed these concerns early Tuesday saying that only his wife was concerned for his job security. USC president C.L. Max Nikias released a statement giving Haden his full support. 

Many former and current Trojans took to Twitter to express their thoughts on the coaching situation as Hailey Tucker gives a comprehensive search of what the Trojans think of their play caller. 

Eure then gives a full look into Sarkisian’s replacement, interim head coach Clay Helton, who was promoted from offensive coordinator Sunday. Helton sympathized for Sarkisian’s current situation, but realized that his team has to continue moving forward with rival Notre Dame looming.

Eure is joined by Paolo Uggetti to breakdown the key role players in Saturday’s game with the Irish, including a look at two of the top receivers in the nation in USC’s Juju Smith-Schuster and Notre Dame’s Will Fuller.

To provide some background on the rivalry, Jackson Safon recaps what makes this game so special, explaining the roots of how a school from Indiana began traveling out to California and the success of each program.

The winner of each year’s game is awarded the coveted Shillelagh Trophy and Beverly Pham caught up with a few former Trojan greats to find out what this symbol means to the team.

Moving from the gridiron to the pool, Lago is joined by USC men’s water polo junior driver Blake Edwards, who describes his transition transferring to the Trojan team and making the trek all the way from Australia. The Trojans coach, Jovan Vavic, was named PAC-12 Coach of the Century Tuesday and Edwards explains why he was the man deserving of this honor. 

Elsewhere in the USC athletics world, Aaron Glazer brings the latest on USC women’s soccer’s winning weekend over the Arizona schools and women’s volleyball’s survival during a winning weekend on the road. The women’s tennis team was also in action over the weekend, but struggled at the ITA/Riviera All-American Championships, but are optimistic heading into the upcoming weekend’s ITA Southwest Regional Championships.

Also making headlines over the weekend was the USC basketball programs as they hosted the annual Trojan Tip-Off Sunday. The practice and festivities kicked off the basketball year for both the men’s and women’s teams who begin games in November.

Make sure to tune in to Sports SCene next week for a recap of Helton’s first game at the reins for the Trojans and every Tuesday for the latest on all things USC athletics.

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