The Jim Leavitt saga is not going to end. At least not anytime soon. Leavitt wants
his good name restored money and his attorneys are stopping at nothing to get it. Attorneys for both sides met this weekend but have not come to a resolution. USF’s stance is that it fired Leavitt with cause and therefore owes him just one month’s pay. His attorneys say it was without cause due to their belief the investigation into the incident which occurred with player Joel Miller was conducted unfairly. They are seeking he be paid a figure closer to the 75% of his full contract value as stipulated by said contract if he were dismissed without cause. The two figures are vastly different – roughly $67,000 compared to $7.5 million. Obviously a difference Leavitt wants to fight for. Whether the investigation was conducted fairly or not, I have to think the fight is casting a larger black eye on Leavitt than on USF. There are those that may still believe he was dismissed unjustly and those that believe he built the program and although should have been let go should be given his due, but the majority seems to have moved on to Skip Holtz and now regards Leavitt as yesterday’s news. The possibility of a settlement seems to increase weekly and is probably how all of this will end up. At this point, it may be in the best interest of both parties to come to an agreement and just move on. Nothing good can come out of an ongoing fight.
Skip Holtz has finalized his coaching staff at USF with the hiring of new offensive line coach Steve Shankweiler. The coaching staff breaks down with four coaches coming over from Holtz’s last stomping ground, ECU, and four being retained from the previous Bulls’ staff. Five if you count Carl Franks who will not be a coach per say, but will be given an administrative role to remain with the program. With the 2010 recruiting class signed and the coaching staff now in place, Holtz and crew move on to preparing for the upcoming season. With talent returning at several key offensive positions, USF will be expected to again compete in the Big East. A conference title is probably out of the question in Holtz’s first year, but don’t be surprised if the Bulls pull off a signature win here or there. While USF never experienced the highest level of Big East success, a new coach isn’t in place because the last one failed. It’s not a rebuilding situation, but more of a tweaking. USF was a consistent bowl team who will now be expected to take the next step under Holtz. He has many of the tools necessary to succeed in place and will look to build the others. The biggest of course will be playing hard through an entire season. You can bet on the second half collapses of the past to be something the new staff keys on and looks to eliminate.
Bad economy be damned, people will still spend $9,000 on eyeglasses if they please. At least that’s what two Penn State alums are willing to give up in order to own the famous glasses of legendary head coach Joe Paterno. Paterno recently had surgery to improve his vision and no longer needs the glasses that defined part of his historic look. He’ll still need spectacles to read, but probably won’t be seen in anything similar to what he wore for years. So his old ones immediately became a desired piece of sports memorabilia. Very desirable at that. I’m not sure how much I’d pay for a Steve Spurrier visor or an Urban Meyer windbreaker. I guess if I had the money at my disposal and it was going to a good enough cause, it would be something to consider, but I’d imagine my limit would be far below $9,000. Of course, having Joe Paterno’s glasses on a shelf is definitely a conversation starter. Let’s just hope there are no drunken Halloween parties in the purchaser’s future. That’s an expensive accessory to lose or break during an alcohol-induced haze.
The subject of Oregon receiver Jamere Holland’s Facebook tirade – Duck’s linebacker Kristian Kiko Alonso – has been suspended for the entirety of the 2010 season. Not quite the dismissal Holland believed had occurred, but a fairly large punishment nonetheless. In response to being arrested for DUI, Alonso will remain part of the Oregon program in some capacity, but will not play during the upcoming season. I’d imagine Holland would still be with the team too if he hadn’t prematurely jumped to conclusions concerning Alonso’s fate. The Ducks continue to take hits in the player conduct department. I’m not about to start throwing stones, but it can’t be a fun time to be an Oregon fan. That said, for every fan that cringes when an arrest is announced, there is a fan who could care less what happens off the field.
After putting a record 48.8 million people in seats for games during the 2008 season, college football attendance numbers dipped slightly in 2009 to 48.3 million. Not a very significant decrease, but a decrease all the same. You can link it to the economy all you want and you’d probably be right for the most part, but I have to think it could also have something to do with increased options for viewing games. I enjoy going to games from time to time, but also enjoy having friends over to watch multiple games just as much. There is little that can match the feeling of being in a stadium for a big game (I was at both the 1997 Florida/FSU game and the 2006 Florida/South Carolina game), but I’m also not someone who goes to every home game. Maybe it’s that I enjoy the sport as a whole. There’s no way I’d miss catching a Gator or Bull game, but at the same time, I don’t want to miss other big matchups either. On a big weekend, I’d be just as comfortable with three televisions running the entire day with all the great games going.