Alcoholism is recognized as a disability in the state of California, and recently fired head football coach Steve Sarkisian, a noted alcoholic, is using this fact to sue Southern Cal for over $30 million.
Sarkisian’s lawyer, Alan Loewinsohn, claims that Sark was not given sufficient opportunity to seek treatment and put the bottle away so he could return to the sidelines, according to TMZ Sports. Of the desired 30 milly, 12.6 is the remaining money owed to him from his preexisting contract. The rest is for “mental anguish” he endured during the highly publicized ouster.
TMZ Sports has obtained the suit … in which Sarkisian reveals he came to grips with the fact he suffered from alcoholism in October 2015 … after a widely reported meltdown on campus.
Yet, according to the suit … SC “kicked him to the curb” when he needed its help the most.
We spoke with Sark’s attorney, Alan Loewinsohn, who tells us, “Alcoholism is a recognized disability under California law. So firing somebody because of that disability is against the law.”
Loewinsohn says Sark wants more than $30 mil to make things right.
Full disclosure: I have close to zero knowledge of state-recognized disabilities and how they work or how one can use them to their advantage. However, it seems pretty silly to me that a self-inflicted “disability” like alcoholism can be recognized. Cerebral palsy? Yeah, duh. There’s nothing you can do to avoid it and it obviously affects your ability to gain employment, among other things, in a big way. So yeah, folks with that clearly need assistance from Uncle Sam.
But alcoholism? You don’t have to drink, man. That’s a choice you make. Taxpayers shouldn’t be responsible for your inability to stop drinking. That’s my take, anyway. Is this common in most states? I honestly don’t know. Could just be a nutty California thing?
Further, it doesn’t pass the common sense test for me. Setting a precedent that alcoholism is a legitimate reason to suck at your job seems nonsensical. I foresee many Cali residents following in Coach Sark’s footsteps.
And hey, what about students at state universities? Can’t a UCLA student just be like, “Hey, I know I failed all my classes this semester, but I was drunk every day. You can’t kick me out of school. I’m disabled and shit.”
Just seems reckless..
[via TMZ Sports]
Image via Twitter/ @CoachSark