AUBURN, Ala. -- When it comes to college football scandals in the SEC over the last couple of years, John M. Phillips’ name just keeps popping up.
San Diego took Fluker as the No. 11 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Phillips, a lawyer/agent from Jacksonville, Fla., who holds a bachelors and law degree from Alabama, has admitted to editing and publishing a controversial video of Auburn coach Gus Malzahn’ wife, Kristi, speaking at a church function.
Phillips also reportedly represented a client trying to sell pictures of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel signing autographs for an autograph broker.
I detailed both incidents in a prior column.
Now, Phillips is connected to the latest college football scandal according to a report by Yahoo Sports.
According to the Yahoo report, Phillips was one of three agents along with three financial advisors that funded $45,550 in transactions to former Alabama defensive end Luther Davis, who in turn provided benefits to former Alabama offensive lineman D.J. Fluker, former Mississippi State players Fletcher Cox and Chad Bumphis, former Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray and current Tennessee defensive end Maurice Couch.
Phillips confirmed to Yahoo that he gave money to Davis but said he had no knowledge of Davis providing benefits to the players.
Now, what will become of all this and will Alabama, Mississippi State or Tennessee face sanctions from the NCAA?
Couch will face eligibility issues because he’s a current student-athlete. As long as the schools have properly educated their players on dealing with agents and acted promptly once they learned of these allegations, they should be fine as far as the NCAA is concerned.
The only potential concern I see with Alabama is whether or not Phillips or Davis could be considered Alabama boosters. I can’t answer that question with any authority right now but if that’s the case, then it could be an NCAA issue for the Tide.
When the NCAA starts investigating a school, there’s also a risk they’ll turn up allegations unrelated to the original investigation.
The NCAA found nothing during a year-long investigation of Auburn and Cam Newton but that was more of an exception to what usually occurs.