Did Florida force Joker Phillips out after recruiting violation?

Joker Phillips resigned as Florida’s wide receivers coach on Wednesday, with the program offering no explanation beyond "personal reasons" for his abrupt departure.

The former Kentucky head coach was replaced by former Gator Chris Leak, and business moved forward in Gainesville.

Now the story seems to be gaining more steam.

A Yahoo Sports report Thursday cited sources as saying Phillips stepped down after the NCAA received a photograph of the coach sitting with a recruit in a restaurant during a mandated recruiting dead period.

To add another layer of intrigue, the report states the NCAA was tipped off by someone from Miami. From the report:


The run-in with the recruit could also be classified as a secondary violation of the NCAA’s "bump rule," according to Yahoo, if the NCAA determines Phillips and the recruit being in the same place during the dead period was a coincidence.

If the NCAA believes the meeting was arranged, the severity of the violation — and subsequent punishment — would increase.