Jim Leavitt held a press conference in his attorney's office Monday to announce he wants his job back. The former South Florida coach adamantly denied the allegation - that he slapped walk-on Joel Miller during halftime of the Louisville game on Nov. 21 - that got him fired last week.
"I just want the truth to be out there," Leavitt said. "Extremely important to me. It really is. I just want to share the truth."
But when given the opportunity to share the truth, Leavitt declined.
He said he never choked or slapped Miller, which he has said all along. But when asked to provide details to dispute eyewitnesses who told the same story, Leavitt clammed up. "The whole thing, there's no way I can right now get into those kind of things," Leavitt said. "The allegations are misreported. All I can say. I'll stand on that."
It's not all he can say. If I was accused of something I didn't do, I'd tell my story anytime, anywhere. I'd offer specific facts to dispute the lies being told. The only people who sit in their attorney's office and say they can't get into specifics are the ones who need time to get their stories straight.
Speaking of hiring an attorney and getting a story straight, Leavitt lost his biggest chip Sunday when Miller hired his own attorney and changed his tune. Miller's attorney, Barry Cohen, told The Tampa Tribune that Miller had backed Leavitt's version of the story only because he didn't want the coach to be fired. He hit him," Cohen told the paper. "[Miller] was trying to protect this coach earlier, and he didn't tell what actually happened."
Miller's credibility takes a hit because he changed his story, but since the new tale matches the one witnesses told the independent investigator USF hired and the one Miller's father originally told Fanhouse.com reporter Brett McMurphy, the new story rings a little more true than the old one.
That leaves Leavitt as the only one claiming he did nothing wrong. He says he isn't looking for a settlement. He says he just wants to share the truth and get his job back.
Everyone's waiting, coach. Share away.