The big USF report is out (when’s it available on Kindle?). The University of South Florida released the 33-page tome today, which was three weeks and 29 interviews in the making, and charges that head coach Jim Leavitt grabbed sophomore Joel Miller by the throat and hit him twice in the face at halftime of USF’s home game with Louisville. It’s entertaining reading, in more way than one.
Leavitt was fired on Friday for striking a player and lying to investigators. The investigation found that Leavitt “inappropriately grabbed the throat and slapped the face of a student athlete.” But the report, first released as a pdf file by the USF radio station, had an ironic comedy element as well.
Several players were interviewed as part of the investigation, with their names blacked out in the version of the report that was released to the media. But the USF radio station posted a version on its web site, and although they blacked out the players’ names, they became visible when copying and pasting the document into another application. From Fan IQ:
Whoops. So here’s every player who was interviewed.
Student Athlete A: Joel Miller
Student Athlete B: Ben Busbee
Student Athlete C: Andrew Ketchel
Student Athlete D: Demetris Murray
Student Athlete E: Moises Plancher
Student Athlete F: Delbert Alvarado
Student Athlete G: Jeff Hawkins
Student Athlete H: Mike Ford
Student Athlete I: Nathaniel Allen
Student Athlete J: Cory Grissom
Student Athlete K : Evan Landi
Student Athlete L: A.J. Love
Student Athlete M: Jamar Taylor
Student Athlete N: Matt Grothe
Student Athlete O: Colby Erskin
Student Athlete P: Jerrell Young
Student Athlete Q: Richard Kelly
Student Athlete R: Ken Luberice
Student Athlete S: Chris Robinson
Student Athlete T: Sabbath Joseph
Student Athlete cited in report but not interviewed:
Student Athlete U: Jerome Murphy
So in the report, where it reads “Student Athletes B and C had seen the entire event and described it as involving Coach Leavitt grabbing Student Athlete A by the throat with one hand and ’slapping’ or ’striking’ Student Athlete A’s face with his other hand,” that’s Ben Busbee and Andrew Ketchel, senior and junior tight ends, respectively, who witnessed the event.
The investigators said no one could corroborate Leavitt’s version of events and that every other account had him talking to Miller “in a direct, aggressive, and disturbed fashion.” The investigators also found conflicting statements from Leavitt on whether he’d ever shaken a player and whether he’d apologized to Miller. And though he was specifically told not to speak to anyone about the incident or the investigation, the report said Leavitt had talked to Miller during the review. One player told investigators that several on the team feared retaliation from Leavitt.
So Leavitt just kind of dug his own grave here, and somehow shoveled it full of dirt with him inside. Quite an amazing feat, actually.