My alumni sent this Open Letter to the USF Community and Alumni e-mail today:

08 January 2010

I want to take a moment to thank Jim Leavitt, USF’s founding football coach. As a native of St. Petersburg, Jim Leavitt was enthusiastic and successful in launching USF football from start-up to national achievement. He worked hard to run a successful program for 14 years and many USF athletes went on to greater heights.

Sadly, at the end of his tenure at USF, Coach Leavitt committed serious violations of our standards of conduct. A thorough, fair and professional review conducted by internal and external reviewers over the past three weeks led the university to decide that USF should now seek a new head coach.

This university exists to create a safe and exciting learning environment for its students. Intercollegiate athletics must always be seen as part of that learning environment. I’ve been deeply impressed by the accomplishments of the Athletic Department in ensuring our athletes are treated as students first.

Today we’ll open a national search for a new head football coach. The Athletic Department anticipates a swift search, because, as Athletic Director Doug Woolard says, this is a team with a strong future.

University of South Florida  4202 E. Fowler Ave. ADM 241 Tampa, FL 33620
(813) 974-2791

My ethical decision making process came into question recently when I decided to withhold information off the record, for a magazine interview. Since there’s no rule for going off the record, after the fact, everything could have been published on the the record. Indeed.

It’s troublesome and the hard part about working in an industry I love. Motocross is family, and when the gossip’s coming from a child, on the in’s and out’s of the most excitement…there’s no best decision when the first principle is, “Journalism’s first obligation is to the truth.”

2 of 3 | Hayden boys | Daytona 2005

The first principle is, “Journalism’s first obligation is to the truthThe first principle is, “Journalism’s first obligation is to the truth

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