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School district upholds Phillips' dismissal

The Hillsborough County school district has upheld Plant High's dismissal of Mike Phillips for providing housing information to a prospective student-athlete who hadn't yet enrolled at the school.

Phillips, who spoke on his own behalf at a 50-minute administrative review at the school district office April 20, confirmed the county's decision Monday morning. The Florida High School Athletic Association fined Plant $2,500 and placed it on administrative probation after the school reported its findings from a self-investigation into the matter.

Phillips acknowledged providing the number of his sister-in-law -- a realtor -- to the mother of the student-athlete shortly after encountering her in the school office, where the mother was trying to enroll her son. The student-athlete eventually enrolled at Blake.

The winningest coach in program history (250-152), Phillips said he was only trying to help the young man and his mother, categorically denying that he intentionally cheated or recruited. At the hearing, even Plant principal Robert Nelson said he felt Phillips didn't intentionally try to recruit the student-athlete, but should never have engaged in those conversations with his mother.

Phillips said because his supplement was tied to his position as a physical education teacher, he'll be transferred to another school.

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