NCAA finds Florida committed major violation; much ado about nothing

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.

9 thoughts on “NCAA finds Florida committed major violation; much ado about nothing

  1. well done, my alma mater, well done….and wouldn’t you know that the Horricanes reported this matter. To hades with UM.

  2. The violation occurred in the summer of 2013. We self imposed the harshest penalty the NCAA has ever seen: we kept Will Muschump for 2014 and allowed him to wreck that season as well. This self imposed penalty included de facto bans from the SEC Championship Game and a meaningful bowl game, vacation of a bunch of wins and reduced several scholarships from the 2015 recruiting class. But hell SMU overcame the death penalty. They literally overcame being put to death. Think about that, if SMU came back from the dead, we can survive being hospitalized in critical condition following a four year train wreck.

    1. I know it’s only February, but if Neil does a “comments of the year” awards ceremony in December and this isn’t at least up there, I call shenanigans.

  3. So technically, Florida’s first major violation since the 1980’s occurred under Will Muschamp’s watch. Yet another reason to hate him!

  4. Whether or not it’s rational to aim hatred towards Muschamp because of this, I do want to point out one thing: Phillips was Muschamp’s hire. Every CEO/President/owner of whatever is at least partially responsible for what his or her employees do. Of course, Philips deserves to take most of the heat for this, but Muschamp isn’t without fault here either.

  5. Is it just me, or is going 25 years without committing a major violation something to celebrate in this day and age of college football?

  6. For me, it’s the NCAA and ALL their stupid rules. I’d like to see a Commissioner for each of the major college sports.

    It should not take years for a ruling and the NCAA Rule Book is like the IRS Tax Code.

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