Wednesday, January 6, 2010


I have been avoiding blogging on the story about Jim Leavitt allegedly striking a play over at USF for several reasons, not the least of which is that I wasn't there so I don't actually know what happened. But also because I worked there for a season and so I am a little too close to the situation in my opinion. But there is a follow up story today that I feel compelled to comment on. And the thing of it is, its not whether Leavitt hit Joel Miller or not that compels me, because as far as I am concerned that is still up in the air. The kid recanted, his dad recanted and that probably could have been the end of the story.

No, what compels me to blog on it today is the alleged petty revenge that Leavitt took out on another player, injured senior Colby Erskin, because he saw him as one of the whistle blowers. Now I don't know for sure if he did this or not either. But if he did, its about the most bush league bullshit I have ever heard of. And its also pretty damned dumb. You are going to go after a player because you think he snitched on you and you don't think he will tell people what you did? Are you kidding me?

Also, I know everybody is built differently, but this couldn't have happened to my kid, that's for damn sure. Like I said about Mike Leach, the investigation wouldn't be the story today if it did. A coach getting his ass kicked would be.

Kevin Erskin, Colby's father, said he decided to speak out when he learned Leavitt cleaned out his son's locker Monday and threw the contents, including Colby's personal items and International Bowl jersey, into a trash bin. Equipment manager Jeremy Lees told Colby Erskin that Leavitt had personally removed everything. Colby said he found his belongings in a trash bin in USF's football equipment room.

"That was the last straw," Kevin Erskin said.

Colby Erskin also said Leavitt told him he would not have a scholarship for the 2009 season midway in October 2008, which caused him to alter his course load as he expected to have to pay for the tuition and hurt his chances to pursue a double major or a masters. Erskin's scholarship was renewed in July, but Erskin only became aware of the renewal when he received a notice in the mail in mid-July.

Erskin graduated in December with a criminology degree

Kevin Erskin also said he feared Leavitt would sabotage his son's chances to apply for a sixth year with the NCAA -- Colby has suffered three torn ACLs in the past three years and has been limited to only six games during that period -- and Colby was told by Lees he needed to ask Leavitt if he could still use the school's facility to continue rehabbing his knee.

Colby Erskin said after retrieving his belongings from the trash, he then called Gonzalez, the investigator, about what had happened and left a message with Woolard to discuss what happened. Woolard did not return his call. Instead, executive associate AD Bill McGillis called the Erskins and told them Colby's locker would be restored and he could continue his rehab, but Colby would have to discuss his scholarship situation with Woolard.

"Absolutely Leavitt is retaliating," Kevin Erskin said. "There's no question in my mind. That's like a vindictive teenager. That's exactly what he's doing. I think he thinks Colby is the one that told you to break the story in the first place and, of course, he's told other people that Colby's done that. That he sabotaged Leavitt's career. I believe what made him feel that way is Colby told him he didn't want to go to the bowl game because he wanted to stay back and rehab.

"[Leavitt] has never taken responsibility yet on what he did and that irritates me."

McGillis did not return an e-mail or phone call seeking comment Tuesday.

Colby Erskin didn't tear his ACL just walking down the street, he tore it playing for USF. And if threatening his ability to rehab his knee really and truly happened....

You know, if I were a betting man I would have said before today that this story was going to end up just going away. That at most Leavitt was going to be facing maybe a slap on the wrist but maybe even not that. But if he personally went down and threw this player's stuff away just to be spiteful? Well I would have to say this story is going to continue to have legs. And if he actually did this, let alone struck Miller, USF is going to have to take strong and swift action.

Some things are just beyond the pale, I don't give a damn who you are. And that's all I'm going to say about that.


  1. I read that story as well, and was like "WOW"! Definitely an idiotic move, if it's true. Seems he really believes he's untouchable as the "most powerful man in the building".

  2. Steve,

    Not asking for details, but did you ever hear/see anything from Leavitt that might lend credence to these allegations?

  3. This is all just gas on the fire. I am a USF fan, and frankly I thought Leavitt should have been fired last year. I think he's a hothead that needs to spend some more time evaluating his own roster instead of these childish bullying actions. It's not rocket science that Mike Ford is the best tailback he's ever had(sorry Andre Hall). I know he was hampered by injuries as a sophomore and has also broken some team rules, but check on Jim Leavitt's graduation rate as head coach. He hasn't been recruiting model citizens so why do you put your most talented player in the doghouse.In 1997 he did the same to Dyral McMillan,a Miami transfer that started ahead of Edgerrin James at the U before he got hurt. The expectations are so high for us because the area is so rich in talent and we underachieve every year. I respect what he did building the program from scratch, but what parent is going to send there young adult to be mentored by this guy? Mike Ford could be playing tonight for Alabama but chose to come back home to play for USF. If Coach Leavitt wants to have success in 2010, he will drop that spread offense that we've never had the WR for, put a fullback in front of Ford and give it to him all day!! Great comments Steve!!