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Emily James | NCAA.com | February 20, 2015

Former Florida assistant Phillips committed violations

A former 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.

FLORIDA STATEMENT
The University of Florida Athletic Association takes pride in the culture of compliance it has built over the years. Integrity is one of the core values of our organization - we act in a fair, ethical and honest manner and we strive to do things the right way every day.

That is why we took quick and decisive action after we learned of a recruiting contact rule violation involving one of our assistant football coaches in January 2014. We stopped recruiting the involved student-athlete, we removed the assistant coach from all recruiting activities, and later secured his resignation.

We thank the NCAA Committee on Infractions for their thoughtful deliberation. We look forward to putting this issue behind us and we will continue to operate with the highest level of integrity and compliance.

-- Florida AD Jeremy Foley

The school immediately suspended the former coach and ended recruitment of the prospect. The panel determined the corrective actions and penalties self-imposed by the school were appropriate and assigned no additional penalties or measures.

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.

Penalties and corrective actions self-imposed by the school and adopted by the panel include:

• A suspension of the former coach from all off-campus recruiting for 30 days beginning on April 10, 2014.
• The end of recruitment of the prospect involved in the contact.

Members of the Committee on Infractions are drawn from NCAA membership and members of the public. The members of the panel who reviewed this case are Greg Christopher, athletics director at Xavier University; Bobby Cremins, former head men's basketball coach Roscoe C. Howard, Jr., attorney; Eleanor W. Myers, chief hearing officer and law professor and faculty athletics representative at Temple University; Jim O’Fallon, law professor and faculty athletics representative at the University of Oregon; and Sankar Suryanarayan, university counsel, Princeton University.

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