Anthony Brown Quits USC Football Team, Claims Steve Sarkisian Is Racist

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistAugust 28, 2014

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Updates from Thursday, Sept. 4

Steve Sarkisian spoke about Anthony Brown and the allegations against him (via

Unfortunately, Shaw isn’t the only drama USC has had to deal with in recent weeks, as tailback Anthony Brown quit the team and accused Sarkisian of being racist.

'It was borderline laughable,” Sarkisian said. “I think anybody who knows me and has been around me – whether it’s family, friends, coaches, players – they know what I’m about, who I am as a person. Quite honestly, it was a ridiculous claim. I really didn’t give it much credence.'


Original Text

USC was already having a bizarre week in light of the Josh Shaw ordeal. Now things have only gotten worse for the school, as senior running back Anthony Brown has quit the team and alleged that head coach Steve Sarkisian is a racist.

In an Instagram post Brown has since removed from his account, he wrote, "Sark treated me like a slave in his Office...Can't play for a racist MAN!!!!! #Fighton." The message was posted alongside an image that simply said, "Couldn't play for a racist man!!!!"

Ryan Abraham of took a screenshot of that image and has more on the story:

Steve Sarkisian just came into the media room to inform us that Anthony Brown has quit the football team. Brown went on Instagram and Facebook, accusing Sarkisian of being a racist. Sark said he was "shocked" at these allegations, called them "ridiculous" and welcomed us to talk to anyone in or around the program and they would tell us that it simply wasn't true.

Sark said they tried to accommodate Brown, moving him to running back. He was unfortunately hurt but Sark said they still tried to get him to stay on the team. Sark felt he could help the team. Brown refused, quit the team...

This certainly feels like a story with a lot of unanswered questions at the very least. Perhaps the most pertinent piece of unknown information was raised by Bomani Jones of ESPN:

On the other hand, at least one player, nose tackle Antwaun Woods, has already come to Sarkisian's defense.

It will be interesting to see how other players comment on their relationship with Sarkisian in the coming days.

It will also be interesting to see how USC recovers from two bombshells in the same week. On Wednesday, Shaw admitted that he fabricated the story about spraining both of his ankles while rescuing his nephew, per Tess Quinlan of USA Today.

His lawyer, Donald Etra, claimed he injured his ankles after falling from a balcony on Aug. 23. Shaw was promptly suspended indefinitely.

Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports pointed out the recent issues facing the program:

Not only does USC have to now put out the fires started by both of these situations and try to mitigate the distractions and media flurry they have now caused, but they also are now without two players and have some serious on-field concerns to address, as Pete Thamel of Sports Illustrated notes:

Shaw was a captain, remember, while Brown started several games in his USC career at cornerback and had been moved to running back this season. Both were expected to contribute to the team this year in some capacity.

Now, however, USC is down two men and left dealing with the public spotlight that is currently shining brightly on the program. It certainly has not been an easy start to the Sarkisian-era this summer.


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