There isn’t a whole lot that’s known about what happened with Joker Phillips. Lots of rumors have been flying around in the better part of the last 24 hours, and instead of being patient and letting all the facts come out like maybe I should, I’m going to simply put up this post explaining that something happened, because I want to touch on the fact that Florida’s all time winningest QB got his first official coaching job now.
These are the facts: Joker Phillips worked the Florida recruits camp yesterday morning and afternoon. Later in the afternoon, Brett McMurphy tweeted out that Will Muschamp forced Joker to resign. Less than a half hour later, McMurphy corrected that tweet with this one saying that Muschamp did not force him to resign, but he never said that Joker had not in fact resigned. Florida then moved quickly, promoting former QB Chris Leak to wide receivers coach, which verified the fact that Phillips was indeed gone.
After these initial facts were laid down, @FootballScoop on twitter reported that Phillips was turned in by another Florida school; ensuing rumors indicated that it was Miami, which has subsequently proven to be true. The irony of being turned in by a school who let a convicted Ponzi schemer offer more benefits than Bill Gates could afford was too much for me to pass up:
That tweet was no more than a harmless reference to my own college tennis recruitment (even though the “U” never offered me, and even though joke I really wanted to make but resisted making involved accidentally grabbing them from my wallet and tossing the list on a prostitute), but it didn’t totally convey my anger and hurt for Joker. He’s as good a guy as they come, and the thought that he would be turned in by a school who’s so badly misbehaved that the NCAA’s code of conduct is called “The Miami Rules” for an illegal but innocent recruiting tactic that Miami uses more than Florida is absolutely infuriating.
In any case, he’s gone, and taking his place with the receivers is Chris Leak, who once led Florida to the glory of a national championship to cap an up and down career. Leak, who bragged that he’d go without a girlfriend until winning a national title, brings a great work ethic and a great knowledge of the game. As a quarterback, the position other than his own that he knows best is receivers, because that’s who he would throw the ball to. He can tell them, as a former QB, what Jeff Driskel is looking for in their route running, and he can help play mediator between Driskel and the receivers should a miscommunication occur.
I’m happy for Leak, even though this isn’t how I would have liked him to get his first coaching job. But one man’s misfortune is another man’s opportunity, and while I wish Joker the best, the receivers are Leak’s group now. Should Leak someday become a successful head coach, whether that be here at Florida or somewhere else, he will have gotten his start at Florida, and coaching lineage is always something to brag about.