The folks in Tampa have grown to love Jim Leavitt. They love his passion for the University of South Florida, his crazy antics, and that he has won some big games. Those wins have some USF homers thinking that there is a Big 4 in Florida. Even Leavitt himself thinks that’s absurd.
Maybe one day, USF will be able to make that claim. But Leavitt may not make it to see that day. In fact, he may not make it to the end of the season because of a report by FanHouse that Leavitt struck one of his players. Yes, it’s the Mark Mangino story all over again, in a warmer climate. So go get your shades.
TAMPA, Fla. — University of South Florida coach Jim Leavitt grabbed a player by the throat then struck him twice in the face during halftime of the Bulls’ Nov. 21 game with Louisville, the player’s father, his high school coach and five members of USF’s football program told FanHouse.
The incident involved sophomore walk-on Joel Miller that stemmed from Leavitt being upset over Miller’s first-half mistake on special teams, according to witnesses.
According to the five witnesses — USF players and staff members — Leavitt was pacing in the Raymond James Stadium locker room at halftime when he walked about 10 feet to the locker where Miller was sitting without his helmet. Leavitt then grabbed Miller by the throat and hit him twice in the face with his hand.
Fire up the search team. It may be time to find a new coach at USF.