Photo: Jim Leavitt.
The allegation is "absolutely false," Leavitt told the Associated Press. The coach said he was "disappointed" with his dismissal.
USF would not confirm Leavitt's dismissal, but university spokeswoman Lara Wade said all questions would be answered when the school released a report later Friday.
USF president Judy Genshaft and athletic director Doug Woolard launched an investigation into Leavitt last month after a FanHouse report said the coach had grabbed sophomore Joel Miller by the throat and hit him in the face twice during halftime of a game on Nov. 21.
USF beat the Northern Illinois University Huskies 27-3 in the International Bowl at Toronto on Jan. 2.