Spencer Hadley grateful that 'the Lord was able to make a positive out of such a negative situation'

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 15 2013 3:30 p.m. MDT

Suspended linebacker Spencer Hadley talks to Brigham Young Cougars defensive back Skye PoVey (7) prior to the BYU Cougars playing Middle Tennessee State in NCAA football Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, in Provo.

Tom Smart, Deseret News

Three weeks after BYU football player Spencer Hadley was suspended from his team for a violation of the school's honor code, the linebacker was informed that he would be eligible to play in the game against Georgia Tech this past Saturday.

During an interview with Greg Wrubell on the "Cougar Locker Room Show" after the game, Hadley said he wouldn't change anything about the events that have taken place since his suspension.

"Just a lot of growth for me as a person. ... But kind of sifting out things that are less important and focusing on things that are more important," Hadley told Wrubell. "It's been a trying but a very rewarding month in my life — for better or worse, (I am) grateful for all that's gone on."

Wrubell asked Hadley how he's responded to the attention. Jeff Benedict's feature on Hadley was published by Sports Illustrated and became a national headline.

"You don't expect that. I mean, I almost didn't even get on the bus," Hadley said during the radio show. Benedict's story details how Hadley accompanied his teammates on a visit to the Utah State Prison.

Hadley talked about his gratitude for the lessons he has learned, and for the opportunity to share them, in a positive way, with others.

"My biggest fear in all of this that had gone on — I knew who I was — I just was afraid it was going to cause a lot of damage, and (I'm) just grateful that this was able to fall together the way that it (has), that the Lord was able to make a positive out of such a negative situation," Hadley told Wrubell.

"I'm just really grateful that something like that was able to come from such an ugly situation."

As for being welcomed back onto the team this past week, Hadley expressed his appreciation for the support he has felt from his teammates.

"These guys are something special and will always be special to me for the rest of my life," Hadley said. "They really live the code of band of brothers and I was welcomed back with open arms by my teammates, and it made all the difference for me. … I'm surrounded by great guys."

Email: spetersen@deseretnews.com

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