Steve Sarkisian’s introductory press conference at USC is over, and we have a few notes to pass along that might of interest to Washington fans.
— Sarkisian was asked about the interview he gave on Sports Radio KJR Monday morning, when he said he hadn’t “interviewed” for the USC job, just that athletic director Pat Haden had reached out to him. Sarkisian also said during that interview that he was “not anywhere near on the course of taking that job or not.”
Of course, reports circulated later that morning that he had accepted the job, and that turned out to be true. Haden said he met with Sarkisian on Sunday afternoon, then decided after returning home to Los Angeles that he was going to offer the job to Sarkisian.
Monday morning was spent hammering out contract negotiations and finalizing the deal.
When asked about all that — his statements on the radio that seemed to conflict with reality — Sarkisian admitted that he probably should have been more forthcoming when asked about the USC job by KJR host Mitch Levy.
“The deal was not near finalized at that time,” Sarkisian said, adding that he felt it was in the “best interest of the student athletes here at USC and the student athletes here at UW” to withhold the fact that he had interviewed for the job.
“Hindsight’s 20-20. … I probably should have said it was an interview,” Sarkisian said.
“I’m sorry if my message got misconstrued,” he added, again saying he simply responded that way in the best interest of the kids.
— Sarkisian said it was “brutally difficult” to tell UW players he was leaving, though by the time the 2 p.m. meeting started, they certainly already knew. Keith Price said he found out via social media, and judging by the tweets and Facebook posts of other players, he wasn’t alone.
— Asked about how he thinks he’ll be remembered at UW, Sarkisian said “I’m not worried about how I want to be remembered,” adding that the UW program is “in a much better place” than when he started in December of 2008. The Huskies were coming off an 0-12 season.
— USC’s spring practices will be open to the media and public, Sarkisian said, but there will be restrictions on media access after training camp and during the season. At UW, reporters are allowed to watch the first 20 minutes of Tuesday and Wednesday practices during the season.
— Sarkisian said whoever UW hires to replace him is “walking into a great situation.”