I have been asked multiple times over the last 48 hours or so about the rumors circulating concerning Joker Phillips’ future with the Cats. The rumor seems to be that certain “sources” are hearing “scuttlebutt” that Joker could be gone after the Tennessee game, either due to being let go by UK or, implausibly, a resignation. The source of most of these rumors seems to be comments by reporters on premium message boards and a couple of the writers are people for whom I have a great deal of respect. With that said, I believe all of the rumors about Phillips not returning to be false. I have spoken with a number of people close to the situation, all of whom tell me that the chance of Phillips resigning is at 0% and the chance of him being let go is “less than 1 percent.” Regardless of the outcome against Tennessee on Saturday, everyone I have spoken with expects Joker Phillips to be the coach next season.
As far as why these rumors exist, I think it is important to note where these comments are being made. All are being said in “premium” sections of message boards, where members pay for content that otherwise could be found for free. Most sites need a reason to justify such charges and I think that is why you often see such “scuttlebutt” posts in these places. If any reporter comes out publicly and says Joker will not be back, in a place read by more than 100 diehard fans, then I might re-evaluate its truth. But for now and absent any huge change between now and after the Tennessee game, I would be absolutely shocked if Joker Phillips is not back next season.