Tuesday's release of ESPN Films' 30 for 30: "Trojan War," documents the rise and fall of USC during Pete Carroll's tenure. The years following Carroll's departure in 2010 have been inundated with scandal, sanctions, turnover and bizarre events, culminating with Steve Sarkisian's firing on Monday.
Below is a timeline of the events that have combined to bring the Trojans program down, and prevented it from returning to the lofty heights enjoyed under Carroll.
Jan. 4, 2006: USC loses to Texas in the BCS National Championship Game at the Rose Bowl.
April, 2006: The NCAA begins its investigation of USC, which would last four years and end with crushing sanctions.
Jan. 11, 2010: Head coach Pete Carroll announces he’s leaving the school and has been hired by the Seattle Seahawks.
Jan. 12, 2010: Former Carroll assistant Lane Kiffin is hired as head coach after one year as the coach at Tennessee.
June 10, 2010: The NCAA rules that USC showed a lack of institutional control -- citing running back Reggie Bush and basketball player O.J. Mayo as having accepted improper gifts and benefits from agents. USC is placed on probation for four years, must vacate 14 wins from Bush’s games during the 2004 and 2005 season, placed on a postseason ban for two years and must surrender 30 scholarships over a three-year span. Among the vacated games is USC’s victory in the 2005 Orange Bowl (national championship) and its participation/loss in the 2006 Rose Bowl (national championship). The NCAA accepted the basketball program’s self-imposed sanctions, which included vacated wins from the 2007-2008 season and a one-year postseason ban.
July 2010: New president Max Nikias fires athletic director Mike Garrett and hires Pat Haden.
Sept. 15, 2010: Bush releases a statement that he will return his 2005 Heisman Trophy.
Dec. 2010: USC finishes its first season under Kiffin with an 8-5 record, but is ineligible for the postseason.
May 26, 2011: The NCAA denies USC’s appeal to the sanctions.
June 2011: The BCS officially strips USC of its 2005 national championship.
Nov. 26, 2011: USC wraps up a 10-2 season with a 50-0 win over UCLA, but is denied the South Division title because of sanctions and isn’t allowed to participate in the Pac-12 championship game and, potentially, a BCS game. UCLA is named the “official,” albeit lame duck South champion. The Bruins go on to lose to Oregon in the conference title game 49-31.
Aug. 2012: Kiffin says he wouldn’t vote his team No. 1 in the coaches poll, however it’s revealed that he did. He later tells USA Today, which hosted the poll, that his quote was taken out of context and he was saying that, as a member of the media, he wouldn’t vote his team No. 1.
Nov. 2012: USC is fined and reprimanded by the Pac-12 for the original deflate-gate when it was determined that the Trojans were using deflated balls in the first half of their loss to Oregon. Kiffin insisted a student-manager acted alone in deflating the footballs.
Dec. 31, 2012: Despite being the preseason No. 1, USC finishes the year 7-6 with a 21-7 loss to Georgia Tech in the Sun Bowl. The Trojans become the first preseason No. 1 to lose six games and the first since Mississippi in 1964 to start the year at No. 1 and finish unranked.
Sept. 29, 2013: Following a 3-2 start, including a 62-41 loss at Arizona State, Kiffin is fired by Haden, reportedly at LAX airport when the team returned home from Tempe. Ed Orgeron is named interim head coach.
Dec. 2, 2013: Despite winning six of eight games as interim head coach, Orgeron resigns when it’s announced that Steve Sarkisian, another former Carroll assistant and head coach at Washington, would be the next head coach.
June 10, 2014: USC is officially off of probation.
Aug. 23, 2014: In a bizarre incident, USC cornerback Josh Shaw suffers two sprained ankles when jumping from an apartment building after the police were called while he was arguing with his girlfriend. Shaw lied and said he jumped off a balcony to save a drowning nephew. The story of heroism spreads rapidly, but is scrutinized just as quickly. Three days later, Shaw admits to lying.
Dec. 27, 2014: USC finishes its first year under Sarkisian at 9-4 with a 45-42 win over Nebraska in the Holiday Bowl.
July 2015: USC is picked by the media that covers the Pac-12 as the favorite to win the conference. The Trojans are ranked No. 8 in the preseason AP poll.
Aug. 22: Steve Sarkisian attends and speaks at a preseason booster event. Various reports surface that Sarkisian was intoxicated, used inappropriate language at the podium and was slurring his words.
Aug. 23: Sarkisian and USC athletic director Pat Haden offer statements regarding the incident through the school. "I sincerely apologize to my players and staff and to our fans for my behavior and my inappropriate language," Sarkisian says. Haden adds: "I met with Coach Sarkisian, and I expressed my disappointment in the way he represented himself and the university." Sarkisian blames his behavior on a combination of alcohol and medication.
Sept. 5: Focus turns to football, as Sarkisian's Trojans, ranked No. 8 at the time, defeat Arkansas State 55-6 to open the 2015 season in Los Angeles.
Sept. 19: The No. 6 Trojans lose their first game of the season to then-unranked Stanford 41-31 in Los Angeles. It is Stanford's sixth victory over USC in the last nine meetings.
Sept. 26: USC bounces back from the loss to Stanford to beat Arizona State 42-14 in Tempe.
Oct. 8: In a matchup against the program he used to coach, Sarkisian suffers his second loss of the season, this time losing 17-12 at home against Washington. USC enters the game ranked No. 17 and a 17-point favorite, but scores just one touchdown on national television.
Oct. 11: The school announces that Sarkisian was asked and agreed to take a leave of absence for an undisclosed condition, and that offensive coordinator Clay Helton will take over as interim coach as the Trojans (3-2, 1-2 Pac-12) prepare for a road game versus Notre Dame on Saturday. According to ESPN sources and an LA Daily News report, Sarkisian was suspected by his staff to be "under the influence" during the Arizona State game on Sept. 26, but Haden was apparently unaware.
Oct. 12: The school announces that Sarkisian has been fired.