WVU Sports with Tom Bragg

Stay classy, South Florida

So you’ve come here before and seen South Florida’s players and coaches say some pretty bizarre things, first after beating West Virginia then after stomping juggernaut Central Florida. Well, that team that was once 6-0 and ranked No. 2 in the nation — no, that really did happen. This year, too! — is 6-3 and the Bulls have lost more than three straight games.

Gone is the silly sense of entitlement they once had that empowered them to say such things. Now they’re a little bitter things are no longer going their way, a problem that’s obviously remedied by cursing at officials.

Matt Grothe’s pass to Jessie Hester Jr. as time expired bounced off of Hester’s chest in the back of the end zone. At first glance, it appeared that Cincinnati strong safety Anthony Williams might have committed a pass-interference penalty, and USF players and coaches were incensed that no foul was called.

“It seems like there were some things going on back there,” Leavitt said. “It seems like it wasn’t really a clean play.”

Fullback Mike Padilla cursed at referee Randy Smith as Smith ran off the field and other USF players shook their heads as they walked toward their locker room.

Though it’s certainly changed, the season is not over for the Bulls, who still must be at least slightly admired for the way they’ve advanced as a program in just 11 years of existence. The party, though, is finished and now might be a good time to learn a few things about how to operate in a more respectable manner.

True story: According to sources close to the USF program and a representative from UConn’s athletic department, USF coach/sore loser Jim Leavitt instructed his players not to talk to members of the media following last week’s loss to UConn. It got so ridiculous that one Tampa sports writer, waiting outside the locker room to interview players, was told by a uniformed police officer, “If you don’t step back, I’m taking you in.” Two words for USF administrators who have allowed Leavitt’s ego to swell to a point where he has become perhaps the biggest jerk in college football: pathetic and disgraceful. Any chance USF quarterback Matt Grothe might have had to garner some Heisman attention has been ruined by Leavitt’s ham-handed PR. USF should have been one of the feel-good stories of the year in college football, but once again Leavitt has managed to turn the Bulls into one of the most unlikable teams in the country. . .