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

According to Dennis Dodd at CBSSports.com, 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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