The South Florida Slapping Saga has taken another confusing family turn as the brother of the walk-on allegedly hit by coach Jim Leavitt has stepped into the fray to defend his sibling and confirm what his father hastily denied yesterday.
Joel Miller's older brother, Paul, called a Tampa radio station yesterday to talk about the incident that he can't really talk about because he says, "if [Joel] opens his mouth at all, he has everything to lose." This rather ominous quote seems to imply that if Joel tells the world that his coach slapped him, he (as a non-scholarship athlete) would be very easily dismissed from the team. Perhaps that explains why their father—who is also named Paul, which only this makes this whole thing even more confusing—ran a double reverse yesterday. After initially accusing Leavitt of assaulting his son, Miller the Elder now says he backs the coach 100%.
Paul Jr. would not provide details on the alleged slapping—other than to say that "the whole team saw it"—but he did have some choice words about Leavitt's character, based on his secondhand info from little brother.
"I talk to my brother often and from what I gather Leavitt, for lack of a better term, is an 'a-hole.' He's impossible to talk to. I've never been in a room with a Division I football coach so I don't know the conversation. But he's impossible to talk to. He's just not a very nice man. He's not a very good coach as far as I'm concerned."
Oh, that reminds me. If any of my family is reading this, and you ever feel the urge to call a radio station to defend me about anything ... don't. I can ruin my own career, thank you.