USC's Steve Sarkisian

Steve Sarkisian, seen here in December 2008 when he was offensive line coach of the Trojans, has had a rough week. (Lori Shepler / MCT / December 6, 2008)

One controversy cooled down a bit but another started heating up at USC on Thursday.

Less than an hour after he answered questions about suspended cornerback Josh Shaw, USC coach Steve Sarkisian announced that fifth-year senior Anthony Brown had quit the team.

Sarkisian made the announcement to reporters in the school's sports information office after receiving inquiries about comments Brown made on social media Thursday morning. The Trojans began practice at around 8 a.m.

A post made to Brown's Instagram read: "Couldn't play for a racist man!!!! Sark treated me like a slave in his office... Can't play for a racist MAN!!!!!!"

Sarkisian said Brown's claim was "ridiculous."

"That's about the furthest thing from the truth." Sarkisian said.

Brown confirmed that the post was made on his account, but he did not respond to text messages asking whether he wrote the post accusing the coach of being a racist.

The Instagram posts about Sarkisian have since been removed from the account.

Sarkisian said he had encouraged Brown to continue to play.

"We thought he could be an asset to our team, especially if he's healthy," he said.

Players came to Sarkisian's defense.

"Coach Sark is a great person/coach! Please disregard comments that have been made by someone," Antwaun Woods wrote in a tweet. Later he said he, "Never, ever in a lifetime" had heard racist remarks by Sarkisian.

"Coach Sark is a great coach and even better person. Accusations like that couldn't be more untrue. #FightOn," Scott Felix tweeted.

Brown switched positions this fall from cornerback to tailback, a move he requested.

Brown started six games at cornerback during his career.