Fanhouse’s Brett McMurphy reported Monday that USF head coach Jim Leavitt (above)throttled and struck sophmore Joel Miller during halftime of a November 21 game against Louisville. Leavitt allegedly apologized to Miller a day after Mark Mangino’s tenure at Kansas ended (thanks in no small part to claims the oversized educator was verbally abusive to players) Leavitt and Magino were assistant coaches together at Kansas State, and depending on the veracity of McMurphy’s work, they might be reunited soon on the unemployment line.

Though Leavitt has denied the charges in McMurphy’s post, and Miller’s father is disavowing remarks he made to the AOL reporter (“you do something like that [on the street], you put them in jail,”), that’s not nearly enough to satisfy the Tampa Tribune’s Martin Fennelly, who opines Tuesday morning, “USF is on the clock.”

It’s hard to imagine something more serious than a coach bullying his players. It’s hard to imagine why any university would want such a coach, or why any parent would send their son to such a university.

USF needs to conduct a thorough investigation. Maybe it should be conducted by USF athletic director Doug Woolard, maybe not. Maybe it should be someone in the university, but outside the department.

Me? I’d call in every player or coach who was in that locker room at halftime of the Louisville game, one by one. I’d make them describe what they saw – to tell the truth, with no fear of retribution. That’s what I would do.

Jim Leavitt says it’s all a lie. That said, he should have nothing to fear if people look under his program’s hood.