Kentucky Football: 3 Players Caught with Drugs, Joker Phillips in Trouble?

Jon HancockSenior Analyst ISeptember 17, 2012

ATHENS, GA - NOVEMBER 19:  Head coach Joker Phillips of the Kentucky Wildcats looks on from the sidelines during the game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium on November 19, 2011 in Athens, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Three Kentucky football players were charged for possession of marijuana last Thursday, according to the Lexington Herald Leader. UK running back Raymond Sanders, wide receiver Bookie Cobbins and cornerback Marcus Caffey were all cited by campus police.

"Kids don't always do all the things right," UK head coach Joker Phillips said Monday via the Courier Journal. "The thing we do is we hold our kids accountable.  We discipline right away.  We don't wait.  We try to get as many of the facts as we possibly can.  We got them on Friday and we disciplined right away."

Raymond Sanders is a much needed tool for the Wildcat offense. Kentucky has been plagued with injuries at the running back position during the offseason. Sanders leads UK in rushing this season with 16 carries for 153 yards and one touchdown.

Freshman Bookie Cobbins is a very talented prospect who came to Kentucky ranked one of the best receivers in Louisiana in the 2012 class. Cobbins did not participate much in spring practice, so he could focus on academics.

Marcus Caffey was ruled academically ineligible before the season started.

Joker Phillips said during his press conference Monday that Cobbins and Sanders would be allowed to play Saturday against Florida.

This news comes after a disappointing loss at home against Western Kentucky on Saturday.


What Does This All Mean for Joker Phillips?

Last season a lot of the Kentucky faithful were ready to replace Phillips until the last game, when the Wildcats beat Tennessee for the first time in 26 years. Although UK only went 5-7 on the season, that one win was enough to give Joker Phillips one more year in the eyes of Kentucky fans.

So far this year the Wildcats have been embarrassed.  After losing to their rivals Louisville 32-14 in the season opener and then being upset by WKU Saturday, Big Blue Nation is starting to rumble about getting rid of their coach. And now, there is an issue with three players being charged with drug possession.

When asked Monday if he deserved more time at Kentucky to get things turned around, Phillips replied: "Well, I mean, we got 72 freshmen and sophomores in this program.  We just played a program that has 50 juniors and seniors in their program."

"My job is to make sure we win football games," Joker added. "Continue to do the things we need to do to win football games."

As the season goes on, there will be more pressure put on UK's athletic director, Mitch Barnhart, to fire Phillips. With season ticket sales low and television ratings down, there really isn't any other option for Barnhart.

Perhaps the only way Phillips can hold on to his job is to show his team can compete in SEC play. If not, then this will most certainly be the last year in Lexington for Joker Phillips. 

Joker Phillips will now take his team on a four-game road trip starting with the 14th-ranked Florida Gators.