In Leavitt's case, he was accused of verbally accosting and subsequently striking sophomore Joel Miller during a half-time tirade in the Bulls locker room. Both Leavitt and Miller denied the incident took place, but university administrators received corroborating testimony from several other players who witnessed the event.
Actual cell phone image of USF player, Joel Miller, taken in locker room after alleged attack.
The official report released by USF President, Judy Genshaft, said that Leavitt entered the trainer's room during half time of the Louisville game and addressed a player named Gomez by growling:
"What position do you play, Gomez?"
"Left tackle, sir."
"Me, too. I used to play left tackle, too. Where did you get hurt?"
"Hip pointer, sir."
"Well, this might be interesting to you. The last Louisville player I saw didn't have a hip. Didn't have any head, either. You get well quickly, son."
Moving on to Joel Miller, Leavitt noticed the sophomore special teams player sitting with his head in his hands, softly whimpering.
"What's the matter with you?" Leavitt barked impatiently.
"I guess I just can't take the hitting, sir," Miller stammered quietly.
"What did you say?" Leavitt asked as he leaned into the player.
"It's my nerves, sir. I just can't stand the pounding anymore."
"Your nerves? Hell, you're just a goddamn coward," Leavitt said, slapping the sobbing player twice across the face. "I won't have a yellow bastard crying in front of these brave, wounded players."
As Miller continued to cry, Leavitt slapped his helmet, sending it flying across the room, telling him to "shut up."
"Don't treat this yellow bastard," he told the trainers. "Nothing wrong with him. I won't have sons of bitches afraid to play stink up this place of honor. You're going back on the field, my friend. You may get blindsided, you may get chop blocked, but you're going back into the game. Either that or I'll stand you up right here and take you off at the knees."
"I should pound you myself, you bastard!" Leavitt screamed, cocking his right arm. The staff scambled into action to hustle Miller away from the red-faced coach. "Get him out of here! Send him back out to the field! You hear me? You goddamn coward! I won't have cowards on my team!"
Rumors of the incident had been swirling around campus since the Nov. 21 Louisville game, complete with denials, retractions and retractions of retractions. When the inquiry was complete, Leavitt's actions were deemed as "not consistent with the goals of the university." Observers are divided as to whether this statement referred to the alleged slapping incident or Leavitt's tradition of his team's falling apart and losing most of their games in the second half of their seasons.
Leavitt told gathered reporters as he left his former office at USF that he was looking forward to his new partnership with Leach and that history would be his judge. He said he was visited last night by the ghost of former Ohio State football coaching legend, Woody Hayes. Hayes told him not to worry about punching out a player; he had done the same many years ago and he, too, was fired because of it, but he remains an icon at OSU to this day, years after his death.
"Of course," said Leavitt, "Woody's ghost told me that it probably would have been better if I would have slugged an opposing player instead of one on my own team......"