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Leavitt Verbatim: Chocolate Milk Edition



Nesquik USF coach Jim Leavitt has been awfully tight-lipped at news conferences of late, so it's a welcome break when you get something completely random and unrelated to football to talk to him about.

Take Tuesday, when there was something you don't normally see at practice: A strength coach guarding a big cooler full of ice and ... chocolate milk. Each player coming off the field got his own little bottle, complete with bendy straw. (OK, I'm kidding about the bendy straw). Seems Nesquik has signed on as, yes, the official chocolate milk provider of USF football. I can't make this stuff up. I see the little cartoon bunny (shown left) screaming: "WE MUST PROTECT THIS HOUSE!!!"

So, of course, we asked Leavitt about it. Quick backstory: There's a bit of a Romeo & Juliet thing going on with Leavitt and Pepsi. He loves the stuff, drinks frightening amounts of it daily, but he also gets paid $1.5-million a year by a school with a Coca-Cola contract. It's a forbidden cola love, so he has to be careful about what he says. USF's official site, even more careful, tactfully references his "morning runs for caffeinated soda," and there's some serious editing in the video clip you'll see there from this interview. Here's the unfiltered conversation in all its glory:

Trib's Gregg Becnel: What's with the milk giveaway? A little calcium?

Leavitt: Good question.

Me: You're not on top of the milk sponsorship?

Leavitt: I think Ronnie (McKeefery) talked to me, something about milk.

Me: It's Nesquik. Don't go around drinking other chocolate milks now.

Leavitt: I usually buy that once a day. I go to the gas station on the corner (points toward Fletcher). I always get a Pepsi. I get one Pepsi, sometimes I get two. You can get two for $2.22. Sometimes I splurge and get two Pepsis and one chocolate milk, but that usually costs me close to a $5 bill.

Me: Times are tough.

Leavitt: Once a day, I will leave here and I will go get me a chocolate milk and at least one Pepsi. I've tried to cut down to two Pepsis. I usually have one in the morning at 8:30 and one at 10:30.

Me: When is the last day you only had one Pepsi?

Leavitt: Oh, Lord.

Me: Probably, what, Kansas State?

Leavitt: Probably when I went to Hawaii (in July) maybe and the hotel only had Coke.

Me: And you checked out immediately.

Leavitt: Well, I drink Coke. This university is a Coke (school). I'm not going to say anything about Coke. Coke is wonderful. I am very supportive of Coke. Wow.

Me: We got the beverage portion of today's interview out of the way.

Can't make this stuff up, folks. I'll get the Leavitt-Rays stuff up later, but yes, former USF safety J.R. Reed, now with the Eagles, wore a Rays jersey to practice today and, coincidentally, got released ...

[Last modified: Thursday, May 27, 2010 1:06pm]


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