Holtz-to-South Florida report refuted

East Carolina athletics director Terry Holland is refuting an online report that says football coach Skip Holtz has been hired at South Florida.

According to an unattributed report by AOL Fanhouse on Thursday, Holtz accepted an offer from USF to succeed recently fired Jim Leavitt.

In a letter posted on the school's Web site, Holland said there is no deal between his coach and the Bulls.

"Coach Holtz and I met this morning and he informed me that he and USF are still conversing about the open football coaching position," Holland wrote. "He indicated that he had not been offered the position nor had he told them that he would accept the position if offered.

"Coach Holtz also told me that both parties had agreed in principle to bring their conversations to a close by tomorrow [Friday] and that he would continue to stay in touch with me as he has throughout the process."

The 45-year-old Holtz has led East Carolina to two consecutive Conference USA championships and 38 victories in four seasons. He also coached at Connecticut in the 1990s in the years before UConn became a Division I-A (FBS) program.

Holtz is the son of former Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz, now a college football analyst at ESPN.

Leavitt was fired Jan. 8 for allegedly striking one of his players and then lying about the incident. He has hired an attorney, insisting his dismissal was unwarranted.

South Florida is standing by its findings.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.