But we can't be sure. Perno was just cryptic enough in his comments to keep us guessing (around the five and a quarter mark).
My guess would be that Perno is making an example of the kid here and trying to get the attention of the team. I'm not saying there wasn't cause for the consequence Phillips received. There must've been, and the charges the kid is faced with are serious. But just listening to that interview and especially this quote - It’s probably why we’ve sputtered as much as we have because we’ve probably had some guys that haven’t been with us. - says it all: Perno has lost the team and is trying to get them back. Like most any sport, if you lose the attention and the effort of just a fraction of the roster it is enough to send the record into a tailspin.
The result with Vandy, one of the country's best teams, was mixed. So it's hard to read too much into the effect this news had in the dugout. The Diamond Dawgs took one of three but probably could've at least threatened to win the series. In short, the series started out great, but Saturday evening and Sunday were horrific.
With a 4-14 record we are in the cellar and hoping to avoid being mathematically eliminated from the conference tourney in April. Hopefully Perno's message sparks a run with four remaining series to go: Arkansas, Tennessee, South Carolina and Florida.
One thing's for certain, it won't be easy. But then again, nothing has this season.