One player, who wished to remain anonymous, described the meeting saying, "Pretty unreal, it was one of the hardest things I've ever had to watch."
USC athletic director Pat Haden, who started the meeting, only offered the job to one coach--Sarkisian--according to USC Athletics.
"Haden said he knew it wasn't the popular thing and he felt bad, but at the end of the day it's a business and you have to make the right decision to move this football team in the right direction," said a USC football player.
The USC football team had said they would "run through walls for Coach O." According to one player, both Orgeron and the team were very emotional during their meeting.
"The Coach O came up. At first he was too emotional to talk. He was trying, but he was crying pretty hard. It was hard to watch it. He's become a father figure for so many of us," a player commented. "To see someone dedicate themselves to something so much and then to have it taken away from them is tough to watch."
Although the team is sad about the departure of Orgeron, they said they "all understand that Mr. Haden knows what's best for this team moving forward and respect his decision."
Sarkisian will return to USC tonight for a meeting with the players at 7 P.M. Sarkisian was previously with the Trojans from 2001 to 2003 and 2005 to 2008. During his time at Troy, Sarkisian worked under Pete Carroll as the quarterbacks coach, offensive coordinator and assistant head coach.
"Sarkisian is flying in and we're all expected to go back. Then one of the captains announced that we're all having a 6 A.M. player workout tomorrow to show we're still committed. I think it's cool, the response from the players was really cool because we've got to move forward and though we love Coach O so much, we have to realize that we still have a huge game ahead of us."
The Trojans have this week off form practice and will start preparation for their bowl game soon. Offensive Coordinator Clay Helton will take over as head coach for that game.