Former USF Coach Jim Leavitt Wins Early Battle In Lawsuit Over Firing

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Jim Leavitt Is Not Being Sued For Mistreating Player

The nearly three-month old saga that started with Jim Leavitt allegedly assaulting walk-on Joel Miller, which resulted in South Florida firing the program's only coach, has reached somewhat of a conclusion: Miller has decided not to pursue any legal action against his former coach.

“I want to end any further speculation regarding the incident with my former coach,” Miller said in a statement released by his attorneys. “I am not filing a lawsuit. I am not taking any legal action.”

“I told the truth because it was the right thing to do, not to make money. I sought counsel for guidance, just like every other party did. Time has passed, most people understand what happened, and I am moving forward to more important things in my life.”

This ends a story that was full of bizarre events with lying, changing stories, and Leavitt fighting to get his job back.

South Florida opens its spring practice under new head coach Skip Holtz later in March.


Yet Another Witness Defends Jim Leavitt Amidst Allegations Of Mistreating A Player

According to Dennis Dodd at, a previously suppressed statement by a Florida State Highway Patrol trooper present in the South Florida locker room when Jim Leavitt allegedly struck walk-on Joel Miller states that Leavitt did not hit anyone.

A statement signed by what Florin says is Florida Highway Patrol trooper Benny Perez states that at halftime of the Nov. 21 game against Louisville, "Coach Leavitt did not grab Miller’s neck nor did he choke or strike Miller."

The story goes on to discuss other statements that may exonerate Leavitt:

Previous to Perez, the father of walk-on defensive end Cody Durakovic told the Tampa Tribune shortly after Leavitt’s firing that he did not see the coach strike Miller. Strength coach Ronnie McKeefery told school officials in the school’s report that Leavitt popped Miller’s shoulder pads twice and grabbed his jersey, but that there was no slap.

Through a spokesman, South Florida said, "We stand by our decision regarding Coach Leavitt."

Leavitt was fired by the university in January after allegations he struck a player.

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