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Leavitt says no interest in leaving USF

Jim Leavitt's name keeps getting dropped as a potential candidate for high-profile openings at Miami and Alabama, but USF's football coach said Tuesday that he has no plans to leave the program he's built over the past decade.

"People know how much I love this place. I don't have to go on saying it," said Leavitt, who turned down a six-year deal, $9-million deal at Kansas State last year. "I don't have any interest in anything. I'm pretty fortunate to be here, very fortunate to have the players we have."

Leavitt, 49, turned down the Alabama job four years ago. He is 69-43 in 10 seasons at USF.

"I'm glad my name is mentioned. I hope my name is mentioned every year, because that means we're winning," he said.

The seven-year, $7-million contract Leavitt signed last year includes a buyout clause of $500,000.

BOWL OPPONENT?: If the Bulls are invited as expected to the Papajohns.com Bowl in Birmingham, Ala., the opponent will be a rival from their Conference USA days, East Carolina.

The Pirates (7-5, 5-3), who on Tuesday accepted a trip for the Dec. 23 game, are making their first bowl appearance in five years. USF made its bowl debut last year in the Meineke Car Care Bowl, losing 14-0 to N.C. State.

USF has a 3-0 record against ECU, most recently beating the Pirates 41-17 in Tampa in 2004. The Bulls will likely learn of their bowl selection this weekend.

ADMINISTRATOR LEAVES: Tom Veit, USF's associate athletic director for external operations since 2002, is leaving to become a general manager for Action Sports Media, a sports marketing company that has USF among its top college clients.

"I'm moving 200 yards," said Veit, who will work out of the Sun Dome on USF's campus.

Greg Auman can be reached at auman@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3346.

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