Salt Lake Tribune As is their custom, BYU officials would not reveal the nature of senior Spencer Hadley’s transgression when they announced Tuesday that the star linebacker was suspended five games for violating the school’s honor code. However, a photo obtained by The Salt Lake Tribune from the University of Utah via a Government Records Access Management Act (GRAMA) request that depicts Hadley partying at what appears to be a Las Vegas club sheds some light on what may have led to the suspension. The Tribune could not verify the authenticity of the photo and has chosen not to publish it. A source with close ties to the program also said Hadley had been suspended after clubbing in Las Vegas. Documents obtained from the U. show that a person calling himself “Darren Lucy” and a “die hard Utah Utes fan” e-mailed the photo to Utah’s compliance office, at 2:16 p.m. Monday. The U.’s compliance office forwarded the photo/e-mail — which also alleged potential NCAA violations — to BYU Director of Compliance Chad Gwilliam 12 minutes later. Tuesday morning, BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall announced that Hadley, a starting inside linebacker, had been “suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules.” BYU spokesperson Carri Jenkins confirmed Tuesday afternoon that Hadley violated the honor code, but would be allowed to remain in school. Just as she did when BYU suspended basketball star Brandon Davies near the end of the 2010-11 season, Jenkins reiterated that specific violations of the honor code are not made public. The e-mail string shows that U.’s compliance office replied to the fan by writing, “The NCAA can only investigate with evidence. If you have pictures, that would be helpful.” The fan replied that he would “supply more pictures soon.” He never did, according to U. attorney Robert Payne, who facilitated the GRAMA request. The GRAMA request was sent to Utah by The Tribune after online reports surfaced claiming that photos of Hadley had been sent to both the U. and the newspaper. The Tribune never received any photos directly. Emily Potter of the NCAA replied to a request from The Tribune regarding whether the NCAA was looking into the matter by recommending that “you contact the school about this matter.” Thursday, BYU’s Associate Athletic Director for Communications, Duff Tittle, said that the school has not had contact with the NCAA — in either direction — regarding Hadley’s suspension.
This suspension makes me sick, I think that BYU should let Spencer Hadley play in “The Holy War” because suspending a player because a fan of the opposing team sent you a picture of that player partying in Vegas which violates the school’s code of conduct is absolutely absurd. This fan is what we call a tattletale, he is scared of BYU, and decided to take the pansy way out instead of being a man and looking the other way. What happens in Vegas is supposed to stay in Vegas, this fan not only violated a fan code, but the man code by “telling” on Spencer Hadley for being a young kid who had some fun. Football fandom is not about trying to take out the opposing players before the snap to give your team a better shot to win. If we allow this to slide, what’s next? Planting drugs in a player’s car and calling the police on them to make sure they miss a game? Football fandom is about putting my best eleven guys against your best eleven guys to see who is the better team. That’s how you win bragging rights, not by getting a few high fives from fellow fans, because you tried to alter the outcome of a game.
I am now rooting for BYU to absolutely slaughter Utah in “The Holy War” and hope that this tattletale Utah fan cries like a baby in the stands. I hope the video of him sobbing gets shown on SportsCenter, causing him to endure years of embarrassment from his family, friends and coworkers. That’s what he deserves after pulling a stunt like this to benefit his team.
UPDATE: Here is the picture that got Spencer Hadley suspended: