South Florida fires head coach Jim Leavitt

South Florida has decided to fire head coach Jim Leavitt after he allegedly struck a player and subsequently lied to investigators.


USF fired the only coach the Bulls have had in the program’s 13-year history following an investigation initiated after a FanHouse report that stated Leavitt grabbed sophomore Joel Miller by the throat and hit the walk-on twice in the face Nov. 21 at halftime of the Louisville game.

FanHouse first reported details of the incident Dec. 14. Five witnesses, USF players and staff members, said that Leavitt was upset by a mistake Miller made on special teams during the first half against Louisville, and subsequently struck Miller twice.

“You do something like that [on the street], you put them in jail,” Paul Miller, Joel’s father and a former Tampa police officer, told FanHouse at the time. “Somewhere [Leavitt] crossed the line.”

Wednesday, wide receiver Colby Erskin, who was not present in the locker room at the time, told FanHouse that Miller told him about the incident and asked for his advice on what he should do, a few days after the Nov. 21 incident.

Erskin also said Leavitt cleaned out his locker and threw his personal effects into a trash bin. Erskin said he believed that Leavitt suspected him of leaking the story to the media.

As the article notes, Leavitt was 95-47 during his tenure at South Florida. He essentially built that program from nothing and deserves credit for making USF relevant in college football.

That said, there’s zero excuse to hit a kid. There’s a difference between being a hard ass and hitting players because they screw up. If the report is true and Leavitt did strike Miller multiple times, then he deserves to be fired. Many of these college coaches have massive egos and think they can say and do whatever they want to players because they’re above them.

Leavitt found out the hard way that universities are stepping in to ensure that these types of situations don’t continue and won’t be tolerated.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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