As you may have assumed, there is more to the Joker Phillips story than what we discovered on Wednesday afternoon. Yahoo’s Charles Robinson and Pat Forde have dug further into the story, and according to multiple sources, Phillips resigned after the NCAA was given a photograph of the former Florida assistant at a restaurant with a recruit during a dead period.
The kicker? The informant apparently has connections to Miami athletics.
Former University of Florida wide receivers coach Joker Phillips resigned this week after the NCAA received a photo of the coach sitting in a restaurant with a high school recruit during a mandated dead period in recruiting, multiple sources told Yahoo Sports.
Three sources told Yahoo Sports the photo was turned over to the NCAA by an individual with ties to the Miami Hurricanes athletics program. Should the NCAA determine Phillips improperly recruited during a mandated dead period, it could be considered a major NCAA violation.
Now, a major question is whether Phillips just happened to run into the player, or if the meeting was pre-arranged, despite the rules about contact during dead periods preventing it.
Two sources told Yahoo Sports that the encounter was described to the NCAA as a violation of the “bump rule” – a scenario in which a coach unexpectedly comes across a recruit and has an impermissible dialogue. Such an instance is considered a secondary violation by the NCAA. However, the violation can graduate to something more serious if the contact between a coach and recruit is premeditated or arranged – such as a dinner or social gathering – in which the coach would be deemed to be purposefully violating the recruiting dead period.
Either way, losing a coach this far into the off-season is certainly not ideal for anyone, especially not for a coaching staff that is very much on the brink.