Analysis: Potential aftermath of Phillips situation
Published: Friday, June 13, 2014 at 4:36 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, June 13, 2014 at 4:36 p.m.
If reports are accurate that former Florida wide receivers coach Joker Phillips committed a possible NCAA recruiting violation, the UF football program could be facing a potential rare breach of an NCAA rule.
Phillips, who resigned Wednesday, may have committed an NCAA violation by meeting with a recruit at a restaurant during a mandated recruiting dead period. According to a Yahoo Sports report Thursday, a person with University of Miami ties took a photo of Phillips with the recruit and sent it to the NCAA, prompting Phillips to resign unexpectedly Wednesday.
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 lesser violation. But if the meeting was arranged, it could be deemed a more serious offense.
UF announced Wednesday that Phillips, citing personal reasons, had resigned and been replaced on Will Muschamp's staff by former Gator quarterback Chris Leak, who was hired as a graduate assistant coach last year.
A UF official said Thursday night that the school will have no further comment on the situation involving Phillips.
The NCAA also refused to comment or speculate about what, if any, penalty a school could face if such a violation occurs.
“The NCAA does not comment on current, pending or potential investigations,” NCAA spokesperson Emily James said.
The UF football program — along with the overall UF athletic program (21 men's and women's sports) — has been proactive in terms of NCAA compliance, led by athletic director Jeremy Foley and senior associate athletic director for compliance Jamie McCloskey.
In the Phillips case, it's unlikely that the football team would face sanctions unless UF is found to have known about (or planned) the possible illegal contact.
If the allegation is proven, there is a chance UF might have to stop recruiting the prospect in question. Also, Phillips could be facing possible NCAA sanctions.
Former UF wide receivers coach Aubrey Hill, who resigned before the Gators opened preseason camp in 2012, received a two-year show-cause penalty from the NCAA last year for his involvement in recruiting violations while he was the wide receivers coach at the University of Miami in the mid-2000s. The penalty prevents him from coaching at an NCAA institution for two years.
Hill is now an offensive assistant coach at Miami Carol City, his high school alma mater.
Contact Robbie Andreu at 352-374-5022 or email@example.com. Also check out Andreu's blog at Gatorsports.com.