USC Running Back Quits, Calls Coach "Racist Man"

Announcement comes one day after school announced team co-captain lied in heroic account of injury

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    NEWSLETTERS

    One day after USC football player Josh Shaw admitted to lying about his hero story, a different player abruptly quit the team, accusing the coach of being a racist. Fred Roggin reports for NBC4 at 5 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014. (Published Thursday, Aug 28, 2014)

    USC head coach Steve Sarkisian said Thursday that running back Anthony Brown has quit the team, just hours after Brown took to his social media accounts to accuse the first year coach of being racist.

    Brown went to his Instagram account to post an image that read "Couldn’t play for a racist man!!!" with the caption "Sark treated me like a slave in his Office… Can’t play for a racist MAN!!!!!"

    Similar posts appeared on Brown’s Twitter account and Facebook page, multiple news outlets reported.

    Brown's sister, Alexis, told NBC4 Thursday she heard about the post didn't see it.

    "I've heard what was said. I didn't see it myself with my own eyes, so I don't know if someone else was on his account or what's the whole issue with that, but I haven't talked to Anthony," Alexis Brown said. "The last thing we've heard from him he's ok, and just so everyone knows, our whole family loves SC coach and staff."

    Brown's father, Anthony Brown, Sr., told NBC4 he spoke with Sarkisian on the phone for five minutes after the news surfaced.

    "Sark just said they had a meeting, and I guess inside the meeting it didn't go good," he said. "You've got to realize Sark might have said something that, he didn't say it like that." 

    Speaking to reporters Thursday after the team's practice, Sarkisian said he was shocked by the senior’s allegations.

    "As far as what (Brown) said on Twitter, I think it's ridiculous," Sarkisian said, according to ESPN. "Any of you guys that know me and if you ask anybody in our building, any of our players -- feel free to -- that's about the furthest thing from the truth. Quite honestly, I'm shocked."

    "I had encouraged him to play. I thought he could play. I didn't want him to quit."

    The news comes during a troubled week for the Trojans.

    Just a day earlier, Sarkisian announced that team co-captain Josh Shaw was suspended indefinitely from all football activities after admitting he lied about injuring himself jumping from a second-story balcony to save a drowning nephew.

    Shaw has not said how he was injured. 

    The Shaw story was first reported on a blog on the athletic department's website. Questions and conflicting accounts of the story emerged within a day of the post.

    Tony Shin contributed to this report.

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