South Florida player wants apology from Leavitt

The player who claims Jim Leavitt slapped him twice is seeking an apology from the recently fired South Florida head coach.


The attorney for Joel Miller said Thursday that the sophomore walk-on is not interested in filing a lawsuit, but could if Leavitt doesn’t “man up” and admit wrongdoing in the locker room incident that cost the coach his job.

Leavitt was fired last week after a university investigation concluded he grabbed Miller during halftime of a game, slapped the player twice in the face and then lied about it. The coach strongly denies the accusation and wants his job back.

“We’re ready for a fight,” said Barry Cohen, Miller’s attorney. “We don’t want a fight. We don’t want a lawsuit. We don’t want to pursue any criminal cases. We just want you to say, I made a mistake.”

“He grabbed me by the neck and he hit me twice,” said Miller, flanked by Cohen and sitting in front of his parents.

“Everyone knows the truth inside that locker room. All the players know the truth. All the coaches know the truth. … I covered it up, and then it got to be where it was too big for me to handle any more. All I want is for the truth to come out, and I want coach Leavitt to just admit that he did grab me and did hit me twice.”

If I were this young man’s parent, I’d probably recommend him to move on and concentrate on his playing career. But the eye-for-an-eye in me applauds Miller for seeking an apology. If Leavitt did hit him, then he deserves to suffer some public embarrassment for what transpired.

Either way, I think Miller will be waiting a while to get that apology. Leavitt isn’t going to admit to anything and further damage his reputation.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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