TAMPA — Coach Jim Leavitt has given his seniors the first three practices off as USF opens preparations for the Jan. 2 International Bowl against Northern Illinois in Toronto.
Six have plans for this morning anyway — receiving their degrees: quarterback Matt Grothe, receiver Colby Erskin and defensive tackle Aaron Harris (criminology); punter Delbert Alvarado (communication); running back Mo Plancher (interdisciplinary social sciences); and tight end Kenneth Luberice (biomedical sciences).
Junior running back Aston Samuels will receive his degree in communications.
NO SUSPENSION: Leavitt, asked if running back Mike Ford would travel to Toronto, did his best Friday to sound stern and sincere while making repeated use of the word "moped." The bottom line was Ford will.
Ford was arrested early Thursday morning for driving without a license after campus police stopped him for driving his moped on the sidewalk. He spent the night in jail before being released on $250 bond.
"You don't want to do anything wrong, ever, in life," Leavitt said. "Mike was riding a moped, and he happened to ride his moped on a sidewalk. We know he's not supposed to ride a moped on the sidewalk. Also, he has to get his license. So we have really been on him about that, and we want to get that corrected.
"Will that keep him out of a bowl game? Probably not. Usually, moped incidents are not things I'd keep him out of a bowl (for). It's 'Do things right.' We want him to do things right."