The NCAA has slapped Florida with a Level II recruiting violation finding about Joker Phillips breaking the bump rule with a recruit. (The report doesn’t mention Phillips by name, but it’s not exactly tough to figure out he’s the subject of the violation.)
Phillips was canned and the Gators receive no other penalty, so that’s water under the bridge. However, you need to check out some of the findings of fact.
From page 3:
The assistant coach was acquainted with an individual who works for a recruiting service that tracks high school prospective student-athletes (“recruiting service reporter”). They have known each other since approximately 2008, when the assistant coach was employed at another FBS institution. They maintained contact through the years. From January 1 through January 22, 2014, the assistant coach and recruiting service reporter exchanged 17 telephone calls. On January 23, 2014, the day the assistant coach committed the violation, they exchanged six calls between 12:41 p.m. and 10:26 p.m.
From page 3-4:
On January 18, 2014, the recruiting service reporter sent a text message to the assistant coach. It stated that the recruiting service reporter was with the 7-on-7 coach and that they wanted to discuss possible prep school options for the prospect. The assistant coach called the recruiting service reporter, who handed the phone to the 7-on-7 coach. They had a short conversation. The assistant coach informed the 7-on-7 coach, whom he believed to be the prospect’s high school coach, that he would be in the 7-on-7 coach’s area later that week and they could discuss the prep school issue further at that time.
From page 4:
The night before his arrival, the assistant coach and recruiting service reporter spoke by phone. During their conversation, the assistant coach confirmed that he was flying in the next day to see the prospect and conduct other business. When he landed just after noon, the assistant coach received a text message from the recruiting service reporter. The assistant coach phoned the recruiting service reporter shortly thereafter, they spoke about directions to the prospect’s school and the recruiting service reporter offered to lead him there. The recruiting service reporter had previously contacted the prospect about coming by to get an update on his recruitment. The assistant coach and recruiting service reporter met at a hotel and, in separate cars with the recruiting service reporter leading, proceeded to the prospect’s school.
The prospect’s high school operated in more than one location. The assistant coach and recruiting service reporter initially drove to the wrong campus. When they realized they were in the wrong location, the recruiting service reporter phoned the prospect and found out where he was. The assistant coach and recruiting service reporter then drove to that location. Prior to their arrival, the recruiting service provider informed the assistant coach that the prospect would be waiting outside. [Emphasis added.]
From page 5:
In his interviews during the investigation, the prospect stated that the recruiting service reporter had texted him earlier in the day on January 23 to tell him that the recruiting service reporter would be bringing “a surprise” and “a special somebody” with him to the prospect’s school.
So, what do we call the “recruiting service reporter” here? Bird dog, pimp, enabler, what? Or was he just being helpful so he could give his subscribers some real inside info?
Joker knew what he was doing and deserved the consequences. But I’d be real curious to know what became of Joker Number Two.