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A Word on the Joker Phillips Rumors


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.

Article written by Matt Jones

115 responses to “A Word on the Joker Phillips Rumors”

  1. Obviously

    And that, Matt, is a damn shame.

  2. Jarred

    Well that’s a bummer..

  3. WildcatsDominate

    So everyone else’s sources are wrong, but we should trust KSR’s sources cause they’re “close to the situation.”

    I have no idea what’s going to happen with Joker, but this is dumb.

  4. WBA Rules

    Shocking, I say

  5. cats

    go away joker!

  6. HeyMatt

    What about off the field issues? Any truth to the rumor that Joker has been involved with someone that would cause him to lose his job for reasons other than football?

  7. Red Bird

    Matt Roark for Heisman.

  8. patrick duffy

    Who cares what skuzzlebutt says. Fire the joke & go offer Gruden the farm so we can start working on the future

  9. greg

    “I would be absolutely shocked if Joker Phillips is not back next season” to be such an awesome university, UK is SO backward. no production ANYWHERE else, equals no job. sad quote above, i guess i wont make my annual one game a year.

  10. BigBlue Forever

    If you’re referring to the alleged “affair” with a local media personality, I could care less about that. That is between 2 consenting adults.
    The fact remains that ‘the joke’ is one of the worst coaches I have ever seen & he needs to go immediately. Don’t fire him over an alleged affair, fire him for his dismal on field performance.

  11. CatGrad7072

    7: He’s scoring off the field?

  12. SexnNursinHomes

    so between 0% and 1%, we have 0.5%. So we are still 50-50.

  13. BTI Lies

    Who is the media personality? I’ve seen this mentioned on multiPle sites.

  14. eastkycatfan

    Everything Rich built, joker destroyed in 1 year. If you ask me, mitch jumped the gun when we named joker the coach in waiting.

  15. UKUKUK1865

    SNH, please go to the library and check out an elementary math textbook.

  16. BigBlue Forever

    #14, it doesn’t matter who it is. The fact is, he needed to go yesterday.

  17. CatFanNLville

    That last paragraph was dead on Matt. If you need customers and your a paysite why wouldn’t you start a rumor “that your sources say” just to get people to pay and check it out, if “your sources” are wrong you simple say “things changed there at the end”. Everyone knows fans aren’t happy with Joker and the paysites are just cashing in on the fans that want him gone by feeding them bull.

    #3 is that you Jonathon Givony…..Happy Thanksgiving!

  18. Joe

    And Matt when is the last time you were right?

    Joker has to go. I have $10 that I will contribute towards his buy out. Pass the hat…

  19. the ghost of Bill Hicks

    14- Maggard?

  20. john4uk

    We can only dream that these rumors are true.

  21. BigBlue Forever

    #19, I’ll double that

  22. SexnNursinHomes

    16- hahaha. I can’t. I owe the Library $45 bucks.

  23. BigBlueInTexas

    Must be coming from he whom will remiain unmentioned… I do not mean Jerry Tipton. I am speaking of the “frosted one.”

  24. BigBlue Forever

    24, yes MM (the snake) is saying that but he isn’t alone.

  25. BTI Lies

    I’m just curious who he can pull in. He should be fired for football reasons. He’s Curry 2.0.

  26. ukjonny8

    3- Then please do us all a favor and go away and never come back.

    All Matt said was: here is what i’m being told. Here is what I think.

    If you can not read that, perhaps this “computer thing” is a little to advanced for you and you should just stick to the newspaper, that way you will always know yesterdays news.

  27. UKGoBigBlue

    We couldn’t be that lucky that Joker would quit or get fired. We’re going to have to dynamite blast Joker out of the UK Football program. Joker making over $1 Million a year for this stupidity, he’s defiantly not quitting.

    Barnhart did the worst thing possible, Brooks & Barnhart in the end gave fans hope, and Joker has totally destroyed that hope. I almost feel sorry for Barnhart because I doubt he has the balls to admit he made a mistake on football & cut Joker lose. Billy G doesn’t count because the boosters & Billy G himself made that decision for Barnhart. Barnhart doesnt listen to fans, that’s part of his problem, he isn’t listening to the customers paying for his salary.

    One name & only one name for UK next Football Coach: If u want to fix it & fix it right: Norm Chow Norm Chow Norm Chow

  28. uk2k dreamin

    If memory serves me right rich Brooks was in a similar situation. Barnhardt had faith enough to keep him and that turned out fairly well. Aside from that, what high caliber coordinator is going to take this job, lets be realistic. Fire Joker and you’ll end up with Tee Martin or worse.

  29. BTI Lies

    Larry Vaught also saying he has sources that say he’s done, but one will go on record

  30. BigBlue Forever


  31. BTI Lies

    Vaught also reporting sources saying he’s gone

  32. Joe

    What do you think Shabazz thinks of UCLA’s 1-3 start? I hope they continue to lose. Better for UK.

  33. BTI Lies

    Meant none of Vaught’s sources will go on record.

  34. Allen

    Matt, love your site, visit it many times daily. I don’t know about rumors, but I was told yesterday by a person who was in a position to know, that after the Tennessee game, Joker would no longer be the coach at UK. FWIW.

  35. Tbc

    Can’t find a thing. Who is he having an affair with?

  36. ukjonny8

    29-preach on.

  37. keep rolling

    My problem with it is I feel Joker likes the “it” factor about connecting with UK fans, which is odd since he played here, but not to the extent of may be Billy G but he lacks a connection to the fans. My only question who do we get that would run an offense that would be exciting that would want the job? I know everybody is quick to say Mike Leach but if he decides not to take it than where to we turn?

  38. Rick Perry

    God came to me and told me that Joker would not be the coach after Saturday. Wait, he’s telling me different now. Wait, there are 3 reasons Joker won’t be the coach next season. One, he has a losing record. Two, attendance is suffering. Three, I forgot the third one.

  39. Computer Blue

    I would have no problem accepting this season if I had any reason to believe next year’s won’t be even worse.

  40. ChickenPOTpie

    You call him doctor Jones #3!!!! (Indiana Jones part 2)

  41. Aaron

    If we want to actually build a program and “RISE” then we have to fire Joker because he is not the guy to do it

  42. BTI Lies

    29 that is idiotic. Brooks inherited a probation saddled team that only had about 55 scholarship players. Joker took over to preserve the continuity of the program. Now he’s ran it into the ground. There is zero comparison in the 2 situations. This is more a Ron Zook situation where a program is inherited in good shape and immediately slips.

  43. galtoid

    Matt has drunk the Kool-Aid of those “close to the program.”

  44. ukjonny8

    Unless he’s choosing to hide this exceptional peice of breaking news, I do not see any place where Vaught has claimed to have a source saying Joker was done.

  45. Communist

    I knew MJP was a little vixen! Meow

  46. CA

    Is there a link to what Larry is saying

  47. BTI Lies

    Kysportsreport premium board is where Vaught said this

  48. CaliCatFan

    Why not pay the farm to Petrino. The extra FU to Louisville would be classic. A reverse Pitino!

  49. WildcatsDominate

    ukjonny8 Says:
    November 23rd, 2011 at 5:35 pm
    3- Then please do us all a favor and go away and never come back.
    All Matt said was: here is what i’m being told. Here is what I think.
    If you can not read that, perhaps this “computer thing” is a little to advanced for you and you should just stick to the newspaper, that way you will always know yesterdays news

    27) UKjonny8,
    First off, obviously I’ve mastered this here computer thingy since I was able to post on this here World Wide Websmajigger known as the internets. Learn to spell appropriately (too instead of “to”) before you attempt to insult the intelligence of someone.
    Secondly, not once did I deny what Matt said. My comment was about how everyone has sources right now and until someone is named as a source (which will never happen) or something happens, then everything is conjecture. Matt saying he has sources close to the situation is the same as MM saying what he has been saying. Matt might be right, MM might be right, I’m not taking sides with anyone. But Matt’s statements on Joker staying have just as much credit behind them as Maggard’s.
    Finally, make me go away and not come back.
    Ok. Thanks.

  50. Bob

    Is banging a recruits mom a recruiting violation?

  51. Communist

    50) check your punctuation idiot.

  52. stevie

    If Joker stays and has a terrible following year I would expect that the only possible solution would be for Mitch to lead the way out of the door. Mitch is solely responsible for giving Tubby a raise and extending his contract–a decision when united with the Gillispie fiasco that nearly reduced UKBB to irrelevance. If he chooses to retain Joker he should be man enough to take the consequences–good or bad.

  53. Communist

    Mary Jo Perino is saucy

  54. Tbradg

    Vaught’s sources also said Donovan to UK and Montgomery Gentry was the GOP ticket for 2012

  55. WildcatsDominate

    52) Touche.

  56. WestWorld

    The $9.99 per month on the paid board is worth it just like this free site is worth it.

  57. Mitchdoesntcare

    I know it hard be Mitch Barhart mouthpiece, but it not Mitch call

  58. ukjonny8

    52-that makes me laugh

    50- Why stay on here to bitch? Only reason would be b/c you are one.

    Oh, and challenging me via the web. Takes a big man to do that.

    Matt gives good info. He gives it the quickest (insert Pitino joke here). And he doesnt charge (oh man, just keeps going. unlike.. oh nevermind). If you just want to complain about a post where Matt tells you what he’s hearing, then why do you visit this site?

  59. BigBlueBrock

    MJ didn’t hear it/say it first, so he’s going to promote an opposite point of view. Simple as that.

    Jones’ “sources” are no better than Larry Vaught’s. And that Jones has most recently became a very big mouthpiece for Barney himself, I’m not surprised he would put out this story.

  60. wildcat Kyle

    wishful thinking

  61. ukjonny8

    And if its Maggard your going by, I quit listening to him when he claimed that Kanter was eligible and then back tracked in cheapest way possible. (I never said he was eligible to play, just eligible to practice.)

    Thats what you people are going by?

  62. BTI Lies

    Biggest loser ever on the pregame call in show right now. Doesn’t want Cal, doesn’t like the players, blah, blah.

  63. UK FAN

    Looks like the rumors of Joker leaving hit a nerve with Matt. Give it up Matt Joker sucks as a HC and we need to move on. If we don’t move on we will have to watch Joker fail for another year and be in worse shape than we all ready are.

  64. I beg the differ

    Mary Jo Perino might go on record

  65. Dennis

    Two losing seasons in a row when before we were going to bowls so if Joker is gone or not matters not since the program needs rebuilding AGAIN because of his and Randy Sanders pathetic coaching. Years and years before we see another bowl for the Cats.

  66. BlueBlueandmoreBlue

    I agree that Joker is a good guy. But I also agree with the 85% of BigBlueNation that has seen enough. How many MILLIONS of dollars in revenue will be lost next year and what is the long term financial impact when the 2012 season ends up being worse than the 2011 season? Well, that’s where we are headed. Our image to our fans, potential recruits, and the rest of the SEC is ugly and embarrassing when the average home crowd at Commonwealth is less than 30,000.

    ATTENTION UK ATHLETICS DEPARTMENT…cut your losses now and start rebuilding the ship while you have a little support! Vanderbilt kicked our butt … have you forgotten already???? Want more of that!?

  67. Eddie Sutton

    What a buzz kill…


    Matt…I love ya man, but EVERYBODY on this site KNOWS that you would love nothing more than to have status quo for the fb program going into next season…

  69. ukjonny8

    Why does everyone say things about Matt? I’m pretty sure that he was one of the first to say Clyde had to go. Any of you all the same people who got on him for that?

  70. ukjonny8

    If you all really want to do some good, write your state senators and tell them to change to the UK athletics fund to the same deal that louisville has so they compete on equal ground. So when we do hire a new coach, he has the tools he needs to compete.

  71. Biggass Hungguy

    Maggard says something so Jones has to come out taking the exact opposite stance, just your typical ‘political’ banter.

  72. 3rd & 5 - 2 yd pass

    I aint quitten brAh, you will have to pry the 2 million out of my cold dead hand!


    Think we are all aware of Matt’s disdan for the football program…Think he would rather be going thru a root canal that to have to talk to any caller that wants to talk football……He has NO desire for the program to try to be competitive in football..He only cares one game of the year..If we beat UT it is a successful season to him…

  74. Mitchdoesntcare

    Matt jones really cares about the footba team

  75. DDT

    Just threaten to cover the cards only until joker is gone……

  76. Communist

    I’m calling for an investigation of slutty news reporters.

  77. Troy

    I hope JOKEr does get fired, steps down or whatever they call it FOR the simple fact Mr. Jones you can get that chip you carry on your shoulder knock off AND people realize you are not the INSIDER you think you are. I knew as soon as I read about these rumors on House of Blue you would have to chime in with YOUR CONTACTS close to the situation. Who is is that JOKEr’s wife, best friend… You claim the rumors are false and to take with a grain of salt, but yet you want us to believe you have INSIDE information and we should believe YOU. You are nothing more than a “snake oil salesman”…. A complete and utter JOKEr.

  78. Hartline

    Where are you people getting this info?

  79. blitzedanddazed

    I was a supporter of Joker until I saw this picture of him talking to Larry Vaught.
    Vaught is a joke and has to to be the most overrated sports writer ever.
    C’mon Joker—don’t even acknowledge the presence of a loser like Vaught.

  80. Lloyd Christmas

    Less than 1%? So you’re tellin me there’s a chance??? YEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSS!!!

  81. Marc Maggard

    I love how so many comments are attributed to me.

    I’ve never said Joker is gone. I’ve said I have heard he may be gone….. and that I know that “feelers” have been put out.

    The entirety of my comments are on Facebook…. I’ve said NOTHING on my premium board.

    As much as people want to make everything a “Matt vs. MM” thing…. he’s not talking about me….

  82. Blumpkin McScrotum

    I want Joker gone, therefore you must be lying and hate the football program Matt Jones.
    You got a combeback for that logic Lawdog?

  83. big tim

    if they fire him who we going to get leach yeah right after what he did a texas tech they will never hire him so get over it leach lovers

  84. bti sucks

    Unless we are hiring Mike Tomlin, this article was very disappointing.

  85. HUBER

    Is Joker the reason MJP is getting a divorce?

  86. Jason

    Then why do you allow people who write for your site (Franklin) to say that it’s “likely” that Joker will be gone if UK gets blown out by UT?

  87. yousayShabazzisayShabozz

    the ONLY way that they fire Joker is if they have a LEGIT BIG HIRE in the pocket already on the silent verbal … otherwise, no shot

  88. man

    Marc Maggards funny. He thinks people listens to him. Matt Jones owns Marc Maggard.

  89. Beat tenn

    the kentucky program doesnt have the mentality that it should have joker would be fired at most other programs in the nation win or loss

  90. Hoss

    86- don’t tease me bro.

  91. Ghostofbearbryant

    You want to right the ship quick? You get a pirate. Joker walks the plank.

  92. Patty Tipton

    Who are you callin’ a skank? You nasty little trollop.

  93. Mary Jo P

    F*ck both of you hizos…JOKER IS MINE!

    He’s leaving his wife for me after UK fires his ass.

  94. Boogie

    Thank you Matt, I don’t understand why people get on here and bitch and moan ALL OF THE TIME about what ksr reports or writes about, if you don’t like it why are you wasting your time coming to the site.

  95. Crime Dog

    I don’t subscribe to premium sites, but Matt himself passes of “rumors,” “info,” and “tidbits” all the time to drive hits on this site. In fact, that is exactly what he is doing in this very post. I don’t see how that is any different than passing along “info” to drive subscriptions. So, if we can discredit “info” from other sites on that basis, shouldn’t we discredit what Matt is telling us now? Either way, there is no reason to believe one over the other because they are both trying to drive traffic to their site.

  96. Walter Sobchak

    The key to matt’s statement is his last sentence. Paraphrasing, but “unless something occurs between now and the Tennessee game…..etc, etc, etc.”. That’s an out. An exception to the statement……

    Btw – i still love this site

  97. The real Mitch

    Your right 96. All the bloggers are guilty of it. I doubt they or anyone else knows what’s going to happen. The safe bet is he returns. I have been done with football since the South Carolina game. I don’t have a problem with Joker. I can’t blame him for taking the job and you can’t blame him for not quitting. Mitch doesn’t have a pair and he is the real problem with U.K football.

  98. Reality Check

    If Kentucky fans stay away from Saturday’s football game in huge numbers, that would send “the powers that be” a clear message: Enough is enough. I have attended UK football games since Stoll Field. I stopped attending earlier this season when Barnhart was quoted as saying Phillips would be back next season. I’m out. Period. End of story. I will not renew if Phillips is retained after this season. I have spent my last dollar supporting a football program that is unwilling to take the necessary steps to be competitive and forward-thinking. Phillips will be fired. It’s not if, it’s simply a matter of when.

  99. catdaddy

    96…. “Either way, there is no reason to believe one over the other because they are both trying to drive traffic to their site.”
    ….one big difference… the other sites driving traffic is like a TOLL road…paying for the privilege of driving.
    KSR is free… I’ll take free EVERY SINGLE TIME… and appreciate the FREE analysis.

  100. tell me please

    How does the University of Arkansas athletic department compare to UKs? That state is dirt poor and yet they seem to be improving at least in football

  101. big tim

    101 it cause there state lets them bond money from the state goverment to improve there facility’s and our senators will not so call the state senator

  102. Mary Jo

    Joker taps me

  103. matfug

    i am 38 yrs old, i been attending fball games at commonwealth since i was 7 yrs old, i mean enough is enough. when are we ever going to compete in the SEC?? damn, its not like we have to win the big game in ATL every year but, maybe play in in every 7 years or so is that too much to ask, i mean why cant we be in the hunt for the SEC East at least every 4 or 5 years??? this doesnt seem too much to ask. Brooks wasnt the most exciting coach in america, but at least he built a foundation, that a proven coach couldv stepped into and moved us forward. but instead, in 2 seasons we have been pushed back several years. i do not get it. again for over 30 yrs i been going to commonwealth, and its pretty full most of the time. thats big bucks. WE DESERVE A BETTER FOOTBALL PROGRAM MITCH PLEASE.

  104. matfug

    btw……MJP, IS SMOKING HOT!!

  105. lldjr

    Hire Mike Leach before it’s too late !!!!!

  106. JoeDaddy

    Why won’t Barnfart give us a football coach? The Joker must know something on him. Yes, that is it. Part of the big cover-up. That’s the truth, fire them both. I love my Cats too much to see them hurt like this. We need, and must have, an A.D. that LOVES football as much as basketball. Now, with that said, let’s get down in a low stance and beat the mortal hell out of Tennessee this Saturday. End the pain.

  107. Rob Schneider

    Oh no! We suck again!

  108. Middlesbrough Computer Repairs

    Useful thanks

  109. Jesus Chrysler

    Mary Jo only likes dark meat (wait 4 it)…..turkey


    101….Ark has sugar daddy for bb ..Walmart owners and one for fb…Some guy who is loaded from constrtuction or something for fb..While those at KENTUCKY want to give only bb and want US fans to continue to buy season tickets for sorry teams so they don’t have to touch their precious bb money for olympic and Title IX sports…Yes Matt Jones is one of them!!!!!

  111. Nameless


    The rumors you heard about a prominent coach and M.J. is between two consenting adults. Plus everybody has known for awhile about Matt sucking Calipari’s nuts. where have u been?

  112. Greg Smith

    Matt, I agee with your comments on the Joker situation. All this dump Joker movement is wrong on so many levels I wouldn’t know where to begin. I don’t know about the premium sites but what is known is that Larry Glover has been leading the charge to dump Joker for about a month now.

  113. Crime Dog

    100 – Every click on this site generates money for Matt. See those ads on the side of every page?

  114. John

    Someone please report Joker’s infidelities. The guy is all over the country banging behind his wife’s back.