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USF's a Class Act, and That Ain't No Bull


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http://www.theledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051002/COLUMNISTS0616/510020402/1113/SPORTS

By Ted Hoffman

ted.hoffman@theledger.com

have been known to denigrate sports. For you proud, bona fide sports fans out there, "denigrate" means ``to say meanie stuff about."

My disapproval is based on our society's ridiculously warped, worshipful embrace of sports, placing athletes on top of a towering, massive pedestal and then placing that pedestal on top of, like, teachers. Screaming, crushed teachers. Our love of sports can be so disproportional, like when people complain it's unfair for the New Orleans Saints' "home" games to be played at opponents' fields, when in fact the Saints' real home field is now a wading pool.

But I gotta say, I've taken shameful delight at the swift ascendance of the University of South Florida football program. I write this before they play Miami, and chances are the Bulls will come out of the game as cows, if you know what I mean, but as an alumnus I'm proud of what Jim Leavitt has done with this program.

Leavitt, by the way, refers to his players as, gasp, students. How refreshing, how rare . . . and how absolutely, proportionately right.

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