Gators face no penalty for Phillips incident

The NCAA released its decision regarding former receivers coach Joker Phillips making contact with a recruit before the rules allowed it.

The NCAA determined that the contact gave Florida a recruiting advantage, but the program will not face any additional penalties since the its self-imposed penalties were viewed as appropriate. The Division I Committee on Infractions panel noted that the school stopped recruiting the prospect. Phillips later resigned citing personal reasons, but multiple reports linked his involvement in the recruiting violation to his resignation.

According to the NCAA, “a recruiting service reporter” notified Phillips that the recruit would be waiting outside of his high school when they arrived. When the Florida assistant coach arrived, he spoke with the prospect and obtained his social media contact information.

The contact between Phillips and the recruit was not inadvertent, and the panel determined it was a Level II violation.

Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley released a statement on Friday afternoon when the decision was announced.

“The University of Florida Athletic Association takes pride in the culture of compliance it has built over the years,” Foley said. “Integrity is one of the core values of our organization - we act in a fair, ethical and honest manner and we strive to do things the right way every day.

“That is why we took quick and decisive action after we learned of a recruiting contact rule violation involving one of our assistant football coaches in January 2014. We stopped recruiting the involved student-athlete, we removed the assistant coach from all recruiting activities, and later secured his resignation.

“We thank the NCAA Committee on Infractions for their thoughtful deliberation. We look forward to putting this issue behind us and we will continue to operate with the highest level of integrity and compliance.”

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