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SARKISIAN WON'T GO TO RAIDERS.

Byline: SCOTT WOLF Staff Writer

USC quarterbacks coach Steve Sarkisian turned down the Oakland Raiders' head coaching position Friday, despite previously saying he was going for the job ``100 percent.''

Sarkisian denied he was offered the job and issued a statement Friday saying he wished to remain at USC.

``While the job was never offered to me, at this time in my career I've told them I want to stay at USC,'' Sarkisian said. ``I strongly believe that the Raiders job is a great opportunity for whomever their next head coach is going to be.

``My goal is to be a head football coach in college and USC is the best place for me to attain that goal.''

The decision to become a college coach is a reversal, because Sarkisian said he was extremely interested in the Raiders job. The club interviewed him and USC offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin on Thursday.

The Raiders also sent twoofficials Friday to Los Angeles to try and persuade Sarkisian, sources said.

So what happened? Sources said Sarkisian clashed with owner Al Davis over how many changes were necessary. Davis believes a massive overhaul is not required.

Another source said former Raiders coach Norv Turner, who hired Sarkisian in 2004, advised Sarkisian not to take the job.

``He decided to stay in college and become a college head coach,'' USC coach Pete Carroll said. ``It's in his best interest to stay in the college game.''

scott.wolf@dailynews.com

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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Jan 20, 2007
Words:246
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