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Steve Sarkisian agrees to binding arbitration in suit vs. USC

Former USC coach Steve Sarkisian has agreed to binding arbitration to settle his wrongful termination lawsuit against the university.

"Mr. Sarkisian has always been and remains confident that he will prevail regardless of who the decision maker is," Sarkisian's attorney, Alan Loewinsohn, told the Los Angeles Times in an email.

"He filed the lawsuit because he had a right to sue in court and believes in transparency. But USC made clear that even if we won the arbitration issue, they would exercise their right to appeal which could delay the case a year or more and Mr. Sarkisian made the decision not to wait for a resolution."

Sarkisian's decision came on Wednesday, the same day a hearing had been scheduled for Wednesday on a motion by USC to send the case to arbitration.

The Times reported that, when he was hired in 2013, Sarkisian signed a two-page document in which he agreed to use arbitration to settle any claims against the school. The newspaper reported that Sarkisian said he didn't remember signing the document in a court filing last month.

Sarkisian filed his lawsuit against USC in December, saying the school "kicked him to the curb" and wrongfully terminated him in October.

He asked for at least $12.6 million in damages in his complaint, but Sarkisian's attorney told TMZ.com he will seek more than $30 million. In the lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles, Sarkisian alleges the university fired him without accommodating his efforts to seek treatment for his "disability."

Sarkisian was on a flight to enter alcohol rehabilitation treatment on Oct. 12 when he was fired via email by athletic director Pat Haden.