Reports: Phillips possibly committed NCAA violation

Former UF wide receivers coach Joker Phillips abruptly resigned from Florida on Wednesday, citing personal reasons.

Matt Stamey/Staff photographer/File
Published: Thursday, June 12, 2014 at 6:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, June 12, 2014 at 6:10 p.m.

Former Florida wide receivers coach Joker Phillips may have committed a major NCAA violation by having dinner in a restaurant with a recruit during a mandated recruiting dead period, according to a Yahoo Sports report, citing unnamed sources.

UF officials would not comment on the Yahoo report.

According to the Yahoo Sports story Thursday, the NCAA recently received a photo showing Phillips sitting at a restaurant with a high school recruit during a dead period. According to Yahoo sources, the photo was sent to the NCAA by an individual with ties to the University of Miami.

UM and the NCAA would not comment on the situation to Yahoo.

If a coach runs into a recruit during a dead period, it is considered a violation of the NCAA's “bump rule,” which is considered a secondary violation.

But if the meeting was planned — like scheduling a meeting in a restaurant — it would be considered a major violation because the coach would have purposefully violated the dead period rule.

Phillips resigned suddenly Wednesday afternoon, citing personal reasons. ESPN, based a report on an unnamed source, said Phillips resigned due to a possible violation of NCAA rules.

Phillips, UF's wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator for a year, has been replaced by former standout Gator quarterback Chris Leak, who had been a quality control coach on Will Muschamp's staff.

Leak becomes the Gators' fourth wide receivers coach in the last four years.

Two years ago, UF wide receivers coach Aubrey Hill resigned just before the start of preseason camp due to his implication in NCAA wrongdoing at UM, where he was the wide receivers coach before returning to his alma mater (UF) in 2011. He was replaced by Bush Hamdan, a graduate assistant on the UF staff.

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