Dad Now Says South Florida Coach Didn't Slap His Kid After All

Yesterday, a Fanhouse story accused USF football coach Jim Leavitt of striking one of his players, but today, the one person actually quoted about the allegations says Leavitt didn't hit anybody. Oh, you thought he was serious about that?

Leavitt, who seemed to duck the issue when questioned about it by Fanhouse, has since vehemently denied the allegation that he struck sophomore Joel Miller during a halftime rant this season. Fanhouse claimed that five witness confirmed the incident, in addition to Miller's father, who gave one of the few direct quotes backing up the story. But in a subsequent interview with the St. Petersburg Times, Paul Miller now says that Leavitt didn't hit anybody and the whole story is blown out of proportion.

"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.''

Gee, I wonder how people could have got the impression that Leavitt could have harmed someone?

"You do something like that [on the street], you put them in jail," Paul Miller, Joel's father and a former Tampa police officer, told FanHouse.

Curious. Leavitt says that he probably "shook" some players during his halftime speech against Louisville, "but not in a forceful way." (Is there a non-forceful way to shake someone?)

So what really happened? Why did Paul Miller change his story? And why can't we have beatings these days where all the participants agree to a single coherent narrative? All this he said/she said crap makes me want to throttle someone (and then later deny it and blame someone else!)

Jim Leavitt strongly denies report that he grabbed, struck player [St. Petersburg Times]
Dad Suddenly Backtracks On Leavitt Abuse Claim [Brooks]
Leavitt Smash! [YouTube]
Earlier: South Florida Coach Allegedly Slapped Player