The NCAA said today that Florida had been investigated for a recruiting violation involving former wide receivers coach Joker Phillips, but would not face sanctions.

Although the NCAA did not mention Phillips, it did note that a ‘former Florida assistant coach’ visited a Florida prospect off-campus before the NCAA rules allowed for contact, adding that the Gators had suspended the assistant coach in question (Phillips resigned in June, incidentally), and that the “corrective actions and penalties self-imposed by the school were appropriate and assigned no additional penalties or measures.

The full statement from the NCAA is here.

What is also interesting – and was noted in an Orlando Sentinel report, is that the NCAA’s investigation was prompted by the University of Miami informing the NCAA of its in-state rival’s violation.

Jeremy Foley, Florida’s AD said: “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.

OUR TAKE: What’s really interesting about the recruiting violation isn’t about the NCAA letting Florida off a Level II violation. Florida did what they had to do in suspending Joker Phillips – who probably would have been let go when new coach Jim McElwain replaced Will Muschamp ¬†– and that was undoubtedly a good thing. What’s amused us is the fact that the University of Miami – formerly the cowboy kings of recruiting – were the ones who suddenly decided that honesty was the best policy and telling the good people at the NCAA that Florida was illegally trying to sign a recruit (who they wanted for themselves). To put it in kids’ terms: Miami told the teacher. And the teacher did nothing. So Florida has the last laugh. And the irony isn’t lost on Joker Phillips now getting a job with the Cleveland Browns as the wide receivers coach, bearing in mind that his receivers weren’t great at Florida this year (mostly thanks to crappy quarterbacking), and that Cleveland doesn’t know who their QB is, since one’s in rehab and one seems content to hit opposition secondary players, and their best wide receiver has just gotten himself banned for smoking weed. But there we go. Florida wins again.

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