<
>

Is Leavitt in the clear?

South Florida's investigation is continuing into whether coach Jim Leavitt struck a player at halftime of the Nov. 21 Louisville game, as originally reported by AOL Fanhouse.

Leavitt

Leavitt

But the player in question -- Joel Miller -- told ESPN's Joe Schad that it never happened.

"I don't think anything should happen to him," Miller said. "Me and Coach Leavitt are fine. People can say different things but he only grabbed my shoulder pads to motivate me."

Miller's father originally made the allegations public in that Fanhouse story but backed off of them in subsequent reports. Joel Miller told Schad that his family's story had been "misrepresented" and that he told school officials that earlier this week.

Leavitt, meanwhile, declined to address the issue at all after Wednesday's practice in his first scheduled meeting with reporters since the report.

It's hard to see how this investigation is going to lead anywhere if the person who was alleged to be abused -- and his family -- are now saying nothing happened. And Leavitt has adamantly denied the allegations.

This whole thing has to be a giant distraction for the Bulls as they prepare for the International Bowl, but at least the game is still pretty far away on Jan. 2. Unless further information arises in the investigation, it looks like Leavitt will be coaching the team in that game.