JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A local attorney and former NFL agent took to social media to defend himself against accusations of violating NCAA rules by providing benefits to college players.
John Phillips said an investigation by Yahoo Sports this week "got things libelously out of context" when it accused five SEC football stars of accepting perks during their collegiate careers.
The report accused former Alabama tight end Luther Davis of running money between the students, financial advisors and agents including Phillips, who is also an Alabama alum.
Yahoo investigators said Phillips allegedly paid Davis $10,000 after Davis arranged a meeting at a Tuscaloosa hotel between Phillips and offensive tackle D.J. Fluker last September.
Phillips sent this series of texts to Action News on Thursday afternoon after we requested an interview:
"Well -- I spoke to Alabama back in May about this.Yahoo failed to return my call and got things libelously out of context. That said, I have no comment as I want to make sure those involved with regulating these matters get my statement if they want it before media. I will be releasing a statement at some point."
We followed up with more questions and Phillips repeated:
"I have no comment as I want to make sure those involved with regulating these matters get my statement if they want it before media. I will be releasing a statement at some point."
On Thursday evening, Phillips provided more details on his Twitter page, which has now been made private.
"I have cooperated and will continue to cooperate with those wanting information about any former relationship with Luther Davis to my days, largely back in 2009, as an NFL Contract Advisor.
"I will not be commenting to media until any such investigation concludes so as not to interfere with any such investigation. I spoke to Alabama in May about some of these issues and continue to. I have also presented some of it to the NFLPA.
"I find the report to be erroneous and out of context. The writer of the story chose not return my call from September 10, choosing to go to press without getting further comment from me. We live in an age of reckless reporting and media wanting to put justice or facts aside for a quick, hasty story. It's unfortunate.
"Luther and I worked on a book in which I interviewed 14 former members of Alabama football teams about a host of issues. That book is in the editing process, as I have over 60 hours of recordings and books of notes. It truly changed the way I think about amateur athletics. My office has also issued cash or checks to Javier Arenas, Baron Huber, Cory Reamer, Brandon Deaderick, Brian Selman, Leigh Tiffin, Terry Grant, Michael Johnson, Preston Dial, Eryk Anders and others -- all post eligibility.
"D.J. Fluker has never, in any way, been compensated by me. I am no longer a NFL agent. I have not had a player signed to a NFL contract in years. Seeing chaplains asking for money, assistant coaches asking for money through representatives, and the like, quickly ruined any delusions I had that there was room for me in the business.
I have no further comment. Please respect that and know I am and will do everything I can to cooperate with any investigation."
The NCAA also sent us this statement:
"Due to rules put in place by our members, we cannot comment on current, pending or potential investigations."