Yesterday we shared the tale of Jim Leavitt’s alleged aggressive motivational tactics during halftime of USF’s game against Louisville. Leavitt has had some time to stew over the allegations and he’s simply “appalled” at them.
“I’m appalled at it,” Leavitt said Monday afternoon. “It’s absolutely not true. It’s so wrong. It’s so far out there. I’m very disappointed something like this would be written.”
Asked if he had any physical contact with Miller during halftime, Leavitt said, “I shook a lot of different guys, but not in a forceful way. In my heart, I know I did nothing wrong. Nothing like that. I care so much for him.”
An emphatic denial by Leavitt to say the least. All we need now is the Miller family to start backpedaling on their story for this all to go away. *Spoiler Alert* They’re backpedaling.
The report was based on comments from Miller’s father, Miller’s high school coach and five unnamed members of the USF program. Reached by the St. Petersburg Times on Monday, Paul Miller said the incident was greatly exaggerated and that Leavitt grabbed his son by the shoulder pads and did not strike him.
“I stand behind the university and Coach Leavitt 100 percent,” Paul Miller said. “I truly believe there was no malicious intent to hit anyone. He grabbed his shoulder pad … but it was like a motivational thing. After talking with Joel, he was satisfied there was not a slap, not at all.”
Well wasn’t that quite a wild goose chase. I liked the story better when it had a Mangino feel to it. Didn’t you?
USF Bulls coach Jim Leavitt: ‘So wrong’ to say he hit player (St. Petersburg Times)