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South Florida fires Jim Leavitt

South Florida fired head football coach Jim Leavitt on Friday after completing an investigation into whether Leavitt had grabbed one of his players by the throat and slapped the same player in the face.

AOL Fanhouse first reported that Leavitt had grabbed sophomore Joel Miller by the throat and struck him in the twice during halftime of a game against Louisville in November.

The Associated Press reached Leavitt by telephone on Friday. Leavitt told the AP he was disappointed by the decision and that the allegations are "absolutely false."

Miller, a special teams player, told ESPN's Joe Schad last month that the allegations were not true.

University of South Florida president Judy Genshaft said: "Sadly, at the end of his time at USF, Coach Leavitt committed a serious violation of our standards of conduct regarding the treatment of students."

Leavitt had been the head coach at South Florida since 1997, leading the Bulls to a 94-57 record in that time. South Florida had been to five straight bowl games under Leavitt, winning three.

New York Sports