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Leavitt suing South Florida over firing

TAMPA, Fla. (AP)

Former University of South Florida football coach Jim Leavitt has sued the university over his firing.

Leavitt, who was fired in January over claims he grabbed a player by the throat and struck him in the face, filed the complaint Monday against the USF board of trustees and athletic foundation. Leavitt denied the accusations and claims in the lawsuit that the university's investigation was flawed and his reputation has been damaged.

The action seeks to recover some of the $9.5 million left on his seven-year contract. A spokeswoman said the school stands by its decision and investigation.

Former East Carolina coach Skip Holtz was hired to replace Leavitt.