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Miller plans no legal action against Leavitt

Posted Mar 4, 2010 by Scott Carter

Updated Mar 4, 2010 at 07:16 PM

USF walk-on running back Joel Miller released a statement through his attorney, Barry Cohen, on Thursday afternoon saying he has no plans to take legal action against former USF football coach Jim Leavitt.

Leavitt was fired on Jan. 8 after a four-week investigation concluded Leavitt grabbed Miller by the neck and struck him twice in the face during halftime of USF’s game against Louisville on Jan. 21.

In the immediate aftermath, Cohen threatened a lawsuit against Leavitt if the former USF coach didn’t issue a public apology to Miller over the incident. Leavitt has not issued an apology and has maintained his innocence.

Leavitt is currently in mediation talks with USF officials over more than $7 million remaining on his contract when he was fired.

Here is Miller’s statement in its entirety:

I want to end any further speculation regarding the incident with my former coach. I am not filing a lawsuit. I am not taking any legal action.

I told the truth because it was the right thing to do, not to make money. I am not the one seeking money over this incident or seeking “friendly’’ witnesses in the pursuit of millions. I sought counsel for guidance, just like every other party did. Time has passed, most people understand what happened, and I am moving forward to more important things in my life.

What is important to me is to be the best student and football player I can at the University of South Florida. I do not want this past situation to be any kind of distraction for our team, coaches, supporters or me. I am excited to be playing for Coach Holtz and the direction he is taking us.

The atmosphere on this team has never been better. My focus is on doing everything I can to help our football team be successful. I am doing what I love, at the school I love playing for, surrounded by great teammates and coaches.

In the end, these are the things that really matter to me.

Joel Miller
March 4, 2010

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