The news that came out of Gainesville on Wednesday about the sudden resignation of wide receivers coach Joker Phillips who said “personal reasons” were the reason for him leaving the program after one season. According to Yahoo, the real personal reasons were as a result of a recruiting violation.
A photograph of the former receivers coach was sent to the NCAA that shows Phillips at a restaurant with a recruit during a mandatory dead period in recruiting. According to the report, the photo was turned in by members associated with the Miami Hurricanes program and if the NCAA determines that Phillips improperly recruited during this dead period, a major recruiting violation would have taken place.
The rule that could have been violated is the bump rule which is when a coach will “unexpectedly” run into a recruit at a restaurant or other public setting and has impermissible dialogue. This would be considered a secondary violation according to the NCAA rulebook, but it can escalate into something much more serious if the meeting was planned.
For example, if Phillips arranged to meet the unknown recruit at a set date and time at this restaurant during the dead period, that would be considered a major violation.
Spokespeople from both Florida and Miami have declined to comment and the NCAA issued a statement saying they do not comment on current, pending or potential investigations, so it remains to be seen if this was premeditated or an unexpected run-in, but the sudden and swift resignation could suggest that something serious is in play here.
What we do know for certain is former national champion quarterback Chris Leak has taken over as the team’s wide receivers coach.