Remember that time about a year ago when word first spread that a Gator assistant coach (Joker Phillips) committed a “bump” violation and another Florida school (Miami) turned UF in for it? Well, the NCAA has made its ruling- and made the point to schools across the nation that handling such violations correctly internally would be looked upon favorably.
The NCAA declared that Phillips’ bump was a Level II violation, which is classified as a “major violation”. This is Florida’s first major violation in any sport since 1989- also committed by the football program, and then coach Galen Hall.
However, because Florida dealt with it in what the NCAA deemed an appropriate manner- forcing Phillips to resign- they won’t penalize UF any further. No bowl bans, no vacated wins or titles, no scholarship reductions. Nothing.
Here’s what the NCAA had to say about what Phillips did:
“A former University of Florida assistant football coach visited a prospect off-campus before NCAA rules allow for recruiting contact, according to a decision issued by a Division I Committee on Infractions panel. The contact with the prospect resulted in the school receiving a recruiting advantage. In its decision, the panel noted that contacts of this nature exceed the boundaries of permissible recruiting and are a serious issue for the membership.
Before the former coach talked with the prospect, he was notified by a recruiting service reporter that the prospect would be waiting outside of his high school when they arrived. Once the former coach was at the high school, he spoke with the prospect, let him know the school wanted the prospect to be a part of their football program and got the prospect’s social media contact information. The panel determined the former coach’s contact with the prospect was a Level II violation because it was not inadvertent and provided more than a minimal recruiting advantage. Specifically, the former coach was able to get the prospect’s contact information at a time when coaches who were following the rules were unable to have the same level of contact.”
Essentially, they’re saying that Phillips orchestrated a so-called “inadvertent” meeting with a recruit at a time in which NCAA rules stated that he could not meet with him (or any other recruit). By doing so, Phillips gained an unfair advantage over other schools in that prospect’s recruitment.
But by forcing Phillips out- and then declining to recruit the prospect any further- Florida avoided any sanctions from the NCAA. Conversely, the NCAA took note that Florida handled the matter with dignity and integrity, and closed the book on the whole matter.