Florida coach Muschamp could face suspension over Phillips recruiting incident

By Adam Silverstein
June 16, 2014

Diving deeper into the supposed dismissal of wide receivers coach Joker Phillips by the Florida Gators, John Infante of the Bylaw Blog looked at how Phillips’s alleged NCAA recruiting violation may affect the program and head coach Will Muschamp.

After Florida announced Phillips’s resignation on Friday, a report from Yahoo! Sports cited three sources as saying Phillips was forced to leave the program after the Gators got word that the NCAA had proof he committed a recruiting violation.

The organization supposedly received “a photo of the coach sitting in a restaurant with a high school recruit during a mandated dead period in recruiting” from “an individual with ties to the Miami Hurricanes program.”

Yahoo! Sports writers Charles Robinson and Pat Forde noted that Phillips’s alleged improper contact “could be considered a major NCAA violation,” a notion that Infante examined more closely on Monday.

Using the NCAA’s new enforcement structure, Infante boiled the incident down to a Level II or Level III breach of conduct, the former being more severe or “significant.”

A Level III violation must be “isolated or inadvertent in nature” while providing “only a minimal recruiting, competitive, or other advantage, or provide no more than a minimal impermissible benefit.”

Such a violation would move to Level II if it exceeded either of those rules, though “in-person, off-campus contacts during a dead period” is listed under a list of Level III violations released by the NCAA, effective Aug. 1, 2013.

Whether Phillips is found to have committed a violation at either level, he and Muschamp could both face penalties that go as far as suspensions handed down by the NCAA.

Infante believes that “Florida’s vaunted reputation for compliance” and quick action in dismissing Phillips will allow the Gators to be tagged with a Level III violation while Phillips gets dealt an individual Level II violation, if said violation is deemed to have occurred.

Muschamp should also be able to avoid suspension as long as he proves “that he monitored his program effectively and that he has promoted an atmosphere of compliance,” another reason the quick Phillips dismissal could benefit Florida.


  1. Kaleb Wolfe says:

    Again like I said before I guess buying a brand new vehicle for a running 2 actually as of now getting there mother a job so they can move out of the state of Florida and feel right at home at Tuscaloosa if that’s not a major recruiting violation idk what is anymore, how could Trent Richardson or now Derrick Henry it appears possibly afford brand new Cadillac escalade with 20 inch rims hmnnn the NCAA is so full of B.S. The NCAA is so hypocritical only because the president of the University of Alabama just so happens to be best friends forever with ole Mr. Emmert who just so happens to be head of the NCAA who won’t do a damn thing to Miami but punish Penn State players that had absolutely nothing to do with what occurred there in the past that wasn’t even really football related it certainly nt say it wasn’t horrible but it surely did not get Penn State or head coach Joe Paterno little advantage on the field did it? No the NCAA came down so hard on Penn State simply because of what we call political correctness way too harsh on Penn State and not harsh at all on Miami, Emmert needs to step down and I blame the SEC as well whose on the field football officials have literally made up penalties just to penalize the Florida gator football team in SEC games throughout the years and if you are a true Gators you know when I’m talking about if you’ve watched it forward to gator football games you seen the ridiculousness that these officiating crews & how they’ve screwed Florida over in SEC games but it’s so funny that yet I never see Alabama often salon ever get call for holding I don’t know maybe they’re just the best blockers in football history I mean because they run the ball so much and they’ve been so successful as of recent in the past six seasons but I played football and I know everytime you’re blocking in a ge you’ll eventually ended up grabbing or holding somebody yet for the offense alignment seem to do a lot more than Alabama offense lineman did he tell you what got back and watch little Alabama football games from any of the past six years in Lou of the years I’ve had any success under saving and you watch every run plate you tell me where passing plate for that matter you tell me somebody did held in did not get called for it ya see now Alabama they are the Darlenes of SEC in the SEC wants to make money and that’s their golden boys to get into the national championship game or now the final four so they’re going to try their best to grease their way into that game one way or another it’s complete bias towards whose has been the most successful as well as money maker for the South Eastern Conference. As long as Mr. Emmert and even Mike Slive to a large extent in the positions that they’re in this will continue to occur, I say down with the NCAA as it stands now replace it with something that gives all teams a level playing field or atleast a chance to be competitive , I hate to say I told you so but awhile during the Chris Walker debacle last December, I said watch out if Florida so much as even doesn’t dot every i or cross every t that the NCAA is just iching for us to do something minor and try to ruin us with it , personally at the sake of sounding paranoid how do we know maybe Joker Philips was setup I mean how does someone “representing Miami of all schools” just so happen to get this opportunity to even take a picture look we don’t know all the facts but I do find someone from the “U” being in Kentucky of all places maybe just a little odd considering Joker Phillips did live in the state for many years of course being very familiar with the area, the NCAA has had it out for us and now they and our competitors will try to do as much possible damage as they can to our Football Program especially as well as our Men’s basketball program funny our 2 most successful & popular as well as most lucrative sports programs, something just doesn’t feel right here guys I’m sorry but my greatest fears are starting to materialize damn I hate and hope that I am dead wrong in this.

    • Tractorr says:

      Paragraphs and topic sentences use them.

    • The Bossman says:

      Stop your whining and snitching Kaleb you guys got busted for cheating, take it like a man and shut up! Know one want’s to hear your crying. It’s a known fact that UF sucks and is at the bottom and in NO Danger of doing anything again this year. All the coaches you hire are either Loud Obnoxious Big Mouths or Excuse making Liars. Makes my day to expose you cheaters.

      • Dave Massey says:

        I didn’t read Kaleb’s post because I don’t read any comments that are that long without a good reason. I got two sentences in and stopped. But talk about Loud Obnoxious Big Mouth’s Bossman you certainly fit that profile. I have no problem with the Gators record for the last twenty-five years. One bad year is not going to ruin this program or even drag it down for a period of time. Watch out because we will be back and soon. By the way it is no one ignorant one. And this is a Gator’s only site so go opine on your own site, nobody here wants to listen to your childish ranting.

        • Kaleb Wolfe says:

          Thanks Dave uh I think Ha but in all kinds of weather we all stick together… I apologize for the small chapter I wrote, I just got off on a very heated rant you could say well it certainly didn’t take long for the little troll to come pop his head out did it lol

          • Dave Massey says:

            Yeah, hopefully somebody will run his little teeny weeny head over with a big bad Gator lawnmower!

            • Kaleb Wolfe says:

              lol I hear that and I agree with what you said earlier hopefully this just doesn’t hurt us too much in the recruiting department ya know

              • The Bossman says:

                You guys get all the recruits and just ruin them, what a shame. If it wasn’t for the SEC moniker you wouldn’t get any quality recruits. You guys have been playing football for a 100+ yrs and were really only good for about 5yrs when your little Filipino boy chaser was there (Tebow ) Then it’s back to mediocrity as usual. Oh and by the way your gonna suck just as bad this year as the last. I wonder what excuse your gonna have this year???? Go Ga Southern! Well at least you have softball. LMAO I have heard less complaining and bitching at a beauty show then your weak ass fans make.

              • Everyone gets their comments approved here, but this is not a message board where you get to throw around slang and insults. Therefore, I edited out the top half of your comment.

                – Adam

              • Kaleb Wolfe says:

                Real classy there I don’t even wanna know who you root for cuz all you’d do is just give your fans a bad name man you sure do talk real big & bad for a message board troll real tough talk “Mr. Bossman” I’m getting tired of these punks I’m not even gonna waste my time besides I’ve got a viewing to go to tonight for Larry Dupree and I promise boss man you’re not even a man compared to the character or the toughness shown by Mr. Larry or Tim Tebow for that matter you know you they represented all that was right with college football selflessness as well as being a true team player giving it their all out on the field and you well you represent the worst of college football, you don’t even deserve to be brought up in the same breath as real men like they were on as well as off the field. I’m done wasting my time with you tough guy you’re definetly not even worth having a civil debate with, obviously you wouldn’t know civil if hit you straight in the mouth just like tebow surely did when he ran over your little fan boy team that couldn’t fill up a stadium unless they were actually playing somebody ranked in football enjoy your basketball league of a conference as well as your cupcake schedule……..

              • Dave Massey says:

                Hey Kaleb,
                I don’t know why you are getting so upset at this clown’s comments, he is clearly ignorant, small-minded, and biased. In the last 25 years Florida has won 8 SEC championships and 3 National Championships so this goon is clearly jealous of the success Florida has in athletics including football. The NFL is loaded with ex-Gator players so obviously the pros don’t think Florida is ruining their recruits. He won’t identify which school he supports because then I would give him a long list of highly rated recruits who didn’t pan out there just like every school including Florida has. The problem with recruiting rankings is that it is done on high school prospects who don’t play top level competition and the rankers see very little of them actually playing so it is more opinion based on potential of athletic ability. Pretty funny that he is the one doing the bitching and complaining. Oh, and Bossman, I like every other Florida fan am extremely proud of our softball team and all of our other athletic teams in both women’s and men’s sport, live with it. That comment you made about Tebow being a little Filipino boy chaser is the crudest, childish comment I think I have ever heard. You need to grow up little boy. I’m surprised your IP address wasn’t blocked instead of only your comments being edited.

      • Ken (CA) says:

        Let me guess 20 year old cane or Seminole fan sitting in mommy’s basement with no job, who never attend any college and just thrilled to death cheering on someone’s problems from an anonymous keyboard? Especially because that program is one of the finest top to bottom in the country and no other Florida school comes close?

        Either that or someone at Alachua Community College still boiling about being rejected for admission to UF?

        bout sum you up”boss”man?

        • Kaleb Wolfe says:

          Lmao omg Ken that’s exactly what I had surmised so I decided why even waste my time arguing with some bandwagon jumper who knows nothing about college football may have watched the national championship cuz it was the only thing on that Monday night hmnnn My money is on 20 year old Criminole troll from Trailerhasse

          • Ken (CA) says:

            lol, no point arguing with him at all, just like to point out the obvious. A troll like that likely has attached his wagon to a team, and yet knows nothing about the realities of life. If he actually attended any university that was a rival, he likely would have understood things happen, and UF as soon as they found out about it took care of business. Foley may not always hire the best, although he has a great record, and better more often than not, anyone who ever hires people knows they aren’t always going to work out or what they appear to be, a lot of guessing if is truly the right person, and he has made some fantastic decisions to offset the few bad decisions.

            Pretty clear it was someone who just loves to see UF hurting, not a true fan of anyone at all. makes it very easy to profile. That kind of “fan” of some program is more thrilled seeing bad things happen to a rival than good things happen to their own. True class would be supporting your alma mater or school you are attending and saying, “Darn, what a shame, they usually do so well, it is a shame they got blindsided like that by a coach”.

            I would say more likely a Cane fan than a Nole fan, since Canes have done nothing in years, and Gators are getting 1-2 national championships per year. Noles just won the BCS, so a Nole fan wouldn’t feel the sport incompetence that a Cane fan would, but clearly someone who never has attended any major college and just feels good about anonymously harassing bad news for a “rival”.

    • Ken (CA) says:

      What difference does it make on how Bama is treated or how hypocritical the NCAA may or may not be? We screwed up, we broke the rules, Joker got fired for it, and we will take whatever punishment they choose and move on. In the big scheme of things, this is nothing more than a blip on the radar.

      When you consider we still hold the record for 117 violations all at once, 1 level 3 violation is nothing. Even if Muschamp is restricted from recruiting for 2 weeks or a month or something, the rest of the staff can still recruit and I doubt it will impact anything

      • Kaleb Wolfe says:

        When I heard suspension I was fearing Coach Muschamp being suspended if what you say is the case aww then no big deal at all big whoop ya know

      • uf_84 says:

        “When you consider we still hold the record for 117 violations all at once, 1 level 3 violation is nothing.”

        Lol, very good point! I was there in those days. Best team money could buy. We were really good in 84 and 85 albeit for nothing. Good ol’ Charley Pell.

        Whatever the penalty is (Suspensions, bowl ban) I’m not expecting much this year anyway so it’s probably a good year to take it. The only thing that would really kill us is a loss of scholarships so hopefully this violation is not serious enough for that. Still finding it hard to believe a coach that’s been around as long as Joker could be this stupid.

        • Ken (CA) says:

          I was there as well, graduated in 88. I will never have proof, but I firmly believe that UF was willing to accept the violations and he was hired knowing they were required at the time to finally create a winning program. I believe as bad as it was with the sanctions and having to reject our first national championship in football, it laid the seeds for the past 25 years of success. I believe Charlie understood and did it willingly, in the twilight of his career, to set the foundation for a program that could have grand success, and he did it as asked and the past 25 years are a testament to what he set up. Again, I will never know, but I really believe he was hired to do exactly what he did and put UF football on the map, take a couple of years of hits, but push into the national spotlight as a program that was important and to be reckoned with from that point on, which it has been until Muschamp and the final couple of years of Meyer have undermined that so much.

          • Kaleb Wolfe says:

            Bear Bryant had always called Florida a sleeping giant of college football……Spurrier’s 1st season’ team won the SEC after defeating Kentucky but due to probation they didn’t count it but that team deserves recognition Coach Spurrier has always mentioned whenever discussing his many SEC Championships I’m 32 years old my father and grandfather both graduated from UF I just so happened to start watching the Gators with my dad in the 1990 and I’ve never missed a Gator game since it’s funny dad always tells me how spoiled I was to come up when we were so successful cuz obviously the success on a consistent success every season of UF was pretty unprecedented before then still Dad was just ecstatic and always reminded me of what Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant had always said about those sleeping Giants down in the sunshine state. Go Gators!!!!!!

  2. Daniel M. says:

    Keep your day job Kaleb.

  3. Rakkasan says:

    LOL! Looks like The Bossman was bullied by a bunch of Gators in the past. Maybe a Midol will help him.

    Nothing will happen to the Florida football program, but Muschamp’s days are numbered regardless especially if he can’t beat Georgia again.

  4. SaraGator says:

    I’m sure a system is in place and highly enforced by the best AD in the country. I have faith that Foley, Muschamp and administration can provide proof that Joker did this on his own. They’ve already acted swiftly by forcing his resignation.

    • TC says:

      Yes I am sure you are right, Foley, Muschamp, and your beloved admin at your world renown university have had plenty of time to get the lies in order, to make it appear that it was all poor Jokers idea. Give it some slack UF has been pulling this crap for years.

      • Dave Massey says:

        Hey TC,
        If you have accusations to make why don’t you supply the proof. Foley is clearly one of the top five AD’s in the country. There is no proof that Foley or Muschamp had any knowledge of Joker’s actions and when they did find out the decision was quick and decisive. So why don’t you take your jealous troll butt and go somewhere else and whine about it. Florida has one of the top three athletic programs in the country from top to bottom in men’s and women’s athletics year in and year out and that doesn’t happen by accident. Of course, you don’t identify which school you are for so we can level the criticisms at them. Get lost jerk.

      • Kaleb Wolfe says:

        Aww why don’t you go “bump” yourself ya little Troll, go get a life……..TC

        • TC says:

          Whoa!!!! You guys are so intimidating…… Forgive me for speaking my mind on your little board.

          • Dave Massey says:

            We don’t mind people speaking their mind son but don’t just make up a bunch of BS and try to put it out there as the truth. If you have cold hard facts that are negative to the Gators I can live with you bringing that up, but until then you are just a lowlife hater. And I see you didn’t have the courage to identify which school you root for so give it up and I will rag on you with the truth against your school because there aren’t any out there that are lily white. I’m sure you are not an alumni of that school as most people on here are Gator alumni. If you don’t like your lies criticized go somewhere else and spew them.

            • TC says:

              Listen Dave I appreciate your concern with my post and wanting to know who I root for. But I am not going to tell you because honestly there is no reason for us going back and fourth about this issue. I am going to close this out quietly with an apology, I AM SORRY, for commenting on this board. I am a Fan of an opposing school and I could not help myself regarding my first comment, it was just one of those moments. GOOD LUCK TO YOUR SCHOOL, AND I HOPE YOUR GATORS HAVE A COMPETITIVE YEAR.

  5. SW FL Joe says:

    I don’t see how Muschamp can prove “that he monitored his program effectively and that he has promoted an atmosphere of compliance,” when it is his own recruiting coordinator committing the violation. It will be interesting to find out if the recruit in question ends up at Miami.

    • He committed to an out-of-state, top-tier program.

      • Dave Massey says:

        Adam, Has there been any evidence presented so far that Muschamp approved this or was in any way involved in this beforehand? That would be what I am interested in hearing. Not a bunch of people who are jumping to conclusions. From what I am hearing so far this is not going to lead to major sanctions against the program.

        • No evidence of that whatsoever. But he does not have to “approve” it for him to be found at fault. The point that Infante was making – and I tried to clarify/summarize – is that it is doubtful Muschamp or Florida will be dealt any major penalty.

  6. gatorboi352 says:

    Yet while Urban Meyer was here AND WINNING National Championships…. nothing. No violations. Well, there was that one time he and an assistant accidentally called the same recruit in the same week. WHOOPS.

    Muschamp? Head Coaching: You’re Doing It Wrong. Please stop using the University of Florida for your on the job training.

    • Ken (CA) says:

      Sigh…boi, enough is enough. Meyer may have won 2, but he screwed us over in many ways. Continual harping on that is non-productive at best. I despise what happened with Meyer and made it clear several times, but it is in the past. Continually bringing it up and complaining about Muschamp provides nothing to the conversation. I think you are very lucky that Adam is so tolerant of posts that he keeps letting you whine without just voiding your posts, since you always post the same thing over and over and over and over and…

  7. Gatorgrad79 says:

    Wake up calls and reminders are good – keeps everyone from getting lax and sloppy. The instantaneous termination of Coach Phillips is and should be a message – “Just don’t do it”. (And BTW, sitting at a table with a recruit is not exactly a ‘bump’. Having him pass your table in a restaurant and saying ‘Hi, how are you’ is a bump…mistake was in letting him sit down). I hate this because I feel it was a result of Coaches’ passion for the school and the program and his heart for players….wish him and his family well in the future.

    NEW Topic – Adam,
    How are the new rules on training table and increased contact working in the teams favor this summer? Will shared meal times help with team unity and mental focus? IMO we have needed both for the last couple years…

    • So far, Florida has used the extra hours to have coaches in the facility checking in and meeting with the players but not to actually do video work or anything like that, from what I understand. As far as the additional meals and such, that’s very minor – for those meals the guys come and go as they need in windows of time. There are not team meals 3X a day where everyone meets up at 8 a.m. or 2 p.m. or anything like that.

  8. Sam Andreu says:

    Looked like Joker was overqualified for the capacity he was in from the start. Where do good coaches come from? Can’t you tell after a few sentences if a person has heart and mind? Musclechamp has all the heart and maybe 67% of the mind. He would make an excellent strength or specialist/dc…

    Sometimes when I see him quoted, I wonder if it’s actually what he said. And the look in his face on game day is a cross between ” is that what was supposed to happen?” and “I’m feeling like the press will eat my lunch for that one!”

    Can we trade him for

    1) Jeremy Pruitt

    2) The Michigan State head coach?
    (Weak heart and all)

    3) …insert intelligent choice and make us feel temporarily better anyway

    • Kaleb Wolfe says:

      Um Will Muschamp had the opportunity to go to Annapolis you know the Naval Academy you got to be pretty smart to get excepted into the Naval Academy but he chose to play football instead he wanted to play for the Gators but well that’s another story anyways he went from walk on at Georgia to team’s Defensive Captain.

      • Ken (CA) says:

        actually, in those days, it wasn’t that hard to get to one of the military academies. You really only needed to know a congressman or senator to endorse you. Not sure how it works today, but I had the opportunity to go to West Point if I chose, Bill McCollum would have endorsed me. As it turns out, I chose UF over Princeton, and due to medical history, I was rejected for ROTC Army scholarship. Life is full of interesting choices and turns…Now I am in Silicon Valley, somewhere I always thought I wanted to be to prove “I made it” as a programmer, and yet I am here working for a retail grocery company, not ever what I thought would bring me here…

        • Kaleb Wolfe says:

          Funny cousin was zStste senator here in Florida during the late 80’s and early 90’s ever hear of Bill Bankhead he lived over in Ponte Vedra saw a pic of him shaking hands with a President Reagan unfortunately he passed away several years ago anyways Well Ken you’ve definetly impressed me Princeton wow an Ivy League school all I can say is that I’m sorry hopefully you find or already have many things that you find fulfilling to somewhat alleviate those past possibilities, it kinda of reminds me of that ole saying that goes ” How do you make god laugh…make a plan” ya know I assure you I have had my share of regrets and wish of “do overs” one in particular would’ve changed my life completely but I don’t wanna go existential on you ha, I wish you the best of luck in all your future endevours whatever they maybe sir, as for Coach Muschamp when I hear him and see him talk football I hear a man who goes into detail attempting to explain certain concepts of football to your normal average fan that at not have played football himself as doesn’t exactly understand why we did this or have to do that I believe he tries his best to be as eloquent as possible however after a loss you can tell he truly hates it which it a good thing of course but he’s also a man of integrity he doesn’t dare pass the buck and blame anyone but himself he always takes full responsibility for a loss even after losing so many starters before the season and game after game after game we were a team last year that was snake bitten from the very beginning in fall practice before the season had even started losing starting right tackle Chaz Green and Topkick returner and best deep threat Andre Debose unfortunately it was a harbinger for things to come and considering the schedule we played and with only a third of the season to go losing the amount of experienced starters (still ending up with a top 10 overall defense that’s a stat I find incredible every year he’s been here he’s consistently kept our overall defense ranked in the top ten) I honestly don’t believe not one college football team or coach especially playing in the SEC with the exception of maybe Alabama simply due to the depth of 3 straight number one recruiting classes now Saban may have reached 6 games to become bowl eligible, the biggest mistake as whole that I blame Coach Muschamp for is for simply trying to take an Urban Meyer Recruit at QB who was built for and recruited to play in a spread option offensive scheme and wasting what he does best for 2 seasons in pro style offense, he was a square peg in a round hole, Muschamp wanted to follow the formula for success that his mentor Saban had at Alabama he wanted UF to basically be an Alabama 2.0 playing stout defense and a power running offense passing off of play action controlling the clock and more or less imposing your will over the opponents eventually wearing them down but Driskel was never suited for that now I hope we can actually stay healthy this season (crossing my fingers knock on wood) and I believe if we have a run option threat between the QB & the halfback that in itself should allow for more crossing routes with the best group of wide outs we’ve had here ever under Muschamp hopefully are special teams return to be a unit of reliability and pride again as long as long as we stay relatively healthy especially along the lines of scrimage I believe the defense can take care of itself especially if it’s not on the damn field for 3 quarters of the game if all this happens I don’t see why we can’t beat competitive enough to win a possible 10 games baring the offense really clicks as well as the kicking game and we should definetly be in the thick of the SEC eastern division race to finally get back to Atlanta hey ya gotta have hope for something plus with all the rotten luck we had this past season I hope the stars even themselves out this season so to speak. Again I apologize for the long comment but I was simply conversing with my fellow Gator Mr. Ken from California.

  9. Steven says:

    Where’s the bad news?

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