USF player hires prominent Tampa attorney

January 11th, 2010 by

TAMPA, FL (abcactionnews)– The family of the the player at the center of the incident responsible for the dismissal of former USF coach Jim Leavitt has hired well-known Tampa layer Barry Cohen to represent them

Cohen told ABC Action News that Joel Miller’s family retained him after Leavitt was fired. He said he met with Miller and his family for a few hours on Saturday

He stressed that the family is mulling its options but it’s too early to know if they plan to file a lawsuit against USF or Leavitt. Cohen said he plans to do his own investigation.

“I’m going to go where the evidence takes me,” Cohen said.

The university fired Leavitt, the team only head coach, after an independent investigator concluded Leavitt grabbed Miller by the throat and slapped him during halftime of the Nov. 21 game against the University of Louisville.

Cohen said Miller never wanted Leavitt to be fired, and that in fact when he spoke to investigators Miller denied that the coach did anything wrong in order to protect him and the entire team.

“If he had told on the coach, he thought the coach would have gotten fired, he knew it would have a ripple effect of the program.” Cohen explained.

“He didn’t want that to happen. He liked him a lot.”

While Cohen didn’t want to go into specifics about what he and the player spoke about, he explained that Miller now says that Leavitt did strike him.

“The investigation revealed the truth. The coach put him in this position, because he didn’t tell the truth and he didn’t apologize.”

Cohen said if Leavitt had been honest about the incident from the get go, that it never would have gotten this far.

“If he had just told the truth and given him a hug ,this wouldn’t have happened.”

Of the sophomore walk-on, Cohen said, “He’s very sad, he’s very troubled.

“The truth is he did nothing here, he was a total victim.”


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