Jeff Benedict: Deseret News exclusive intro to Sports Illustrated story on BYU linebacker Spencer Hadley's suspension

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  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 29, 2013 1:01 a.m.

    This has got to be one of the neatest things I've heard. Totally random and objective to boot!

  • Two For Flinching Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 27, 2013 6:20 p.m.

    "I'd say BYU by 10."

    What makes you think things would be different? BYU still wouldn't be able to run or throw against Utah...

  • Utesnation Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 27, 2013 3:28 p.m.


    Is Spencer Hadley primarily to blame for his suspension? Yes. Praise the Lord a BYU fan, buddy or associate had a real interest in Spencer Hadley's spirituality and the integrity of BYU's athletic program.

    And if it turns out to be a UTE fan (which is highly doubtful considering the facts), then he was truly inspirited to help Hadley and 100 prisoners on a September night.

    It doesn't matter where this info came from, it matters that Hadley has taken full responsibility and blames no one but himself. That is what we call true repentance.

  • phoenix Gilbert, AZ
    Sept. 27, 2013 3:22 p.m.

    M. Butler

    It's common practice for BYU to stay at a hotel prior to a home game; they've been doing this for years. If I'm not mistaken, I believe Utah does the same thing.

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    Sept. 27, 2013 3:16 p.m.


    And you know for sure it was a Utah fan that ratted Hadley out simply because someone claimed to be a "die hard Utah fan" in an email? Wow!

  • M. Butler Brooklyn, NY
    Sept. 27, 2013 1:58 p.m.

    "Last Friday night, on the eve of the overheated BYU-Utah rivalry game, Cougar head coach Bronco Mendenhall's football team boarded a bus at the team's hotel on its way to the Utah State Prison's substance abuse treatment program."

    So, the boys stay at a hotel before playing a home game. What's wrong? Did they all get evicted from their dorms?

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    Sept. 27, 2013 1:43 p.m.


    "As you said, most Utah fans are not like that, but a significant minority are."

    I went back through the incident reports published by the Dept of Public Safety and there were 13 alcohol related or other disturbances at RES for the first 3 home games this year. Sorry, I was off by one in my previous post. There were a total of about 138,000 fans in attendance at those 3 games. I would not consider those 13 incidents coming from a "significant minority". In fact, satistically it barely registers. I stand by what I wrote in my previous comment. Maybe you have just had the bad luck of always being among the very few trouble makers. But whenever I have attended games at RES I have always been surrounded by families, kids and young people who are always well behaved. I will now go to the game on Thursday night and watch the Utes beat the Bruins in my loud but pleasant RES surroundings.

  • BleedCougarBlue Enid, OK
    Sept. 27, 2013 1:33 p.m.

    Should Spencer Hadley have been suspended?


    Is Spencer Hadley primarily to blame for his suspension?

    Yes. It stinks to high heaven that a Ute fan ratted him out because, let's get real, that Utah fan had absolutely NO real interest in Spencer Hadley's spirituality or the integrity of BYU's athletic program. However, the one that is primarily responsible for Hadley's suspension is Hadley himself.

    However....having said all that, I sure would LOVE to play the Utes again WITH Spencer Hadley on the field.

    I'd say BYU by 10.

  • BleedCougarBlue Enid, OK
    Sept. 27, 2013 1:27 p.m.

    @ Sports Are Great - Salt Lake City, UT "From the SI article: "I attended my first BYU-Utah game. At the time I had no intention of mentioning the game in the book, but the extreme profanity and vile abuse I witnessed that night caught me off guard. Utah fans spit on BYU players and taunted BYU fans by mocking the school's honor code"

    But the author is probably making this up, just like Max Hall did, right ute "fans"?

    If I could give you a thousand "Likes", I would!

    The hatred towards BYU in general, and against The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints specifically, in the Deseret News is obvious enough. In the Salt Lake Trib, it's downright disgusting.

    But, hey, I'm sure that all the anti-LDS posters in the Trib never, never attend a game at the UofU, right?

    If I were a UofU fan right now, I'd be hanging my head in mortal shame over the hypocrisy of my fellow "fans". the anti-BYU crowd who mocks Bronco incessantly for hold "firesides", this SI story is THE reason he holds them.

    It's all about lifting and redemption.

  • BlueCoug Orem, UT
    Sept. 27, 2013 12:23 p.m.


    "I have never and I mean never seen or heard the situations that you describe from fans at a football game at Utah."

    I'm a Utah grad, but avid BYU fan - grew up in a split BYU-Utah family.

    You've obviously been blinded by your Utah biases, because I've personally witnessed the exact type of behavior you deny happening on many occassions, and since 2004, at every game I've attended at RES. I've been attending BYU-Utah games at RES and LES since the 70's and the Utah fan behavior has changed dramatically over the years. What used to be isolated incidents of boorish behavior, has now become common place.

    Specifically, at the 2008 game, we had an obviously "tipsy" Utah fan standing with his back to the field during the entire game screaming obscenities at the BYU fans seated 10 rows above him. The Utah fans sitting around us apologized after the game for his behavior.

    As you said, most Utah fans are not like that, but a significant minority are.

    I sat in the middle of the Crimson Club with my son during the 2006 game, and except for some minor heckling, was treated with respect

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    Sept. 27, 2013 11:19 a.m.


    I am active LDS. I am a graduate of BYU. I have had season tickets at BYU for the last 28 years. I have attended games at Utah, both the old Ute Stadium, then Rice Stadium and now RES for the past 50 years, most as a season ticket holder. I have sat in all the different sections of Utah's stadium over the years. I have never and I mean never seen or heard the situations that you describe from fans at a football game at Utah. I served in the U.S. Army for 29 years so I know what vulgar language is and what alcohol is. Again, honestly, I see none of it at the games I attend. What I do see is a lot of families with kids enjoying themselves at a football game. Yes, on occasion I have seen the empty liquor bottle in the restroom. The U of U Dept of Public Safety publishes an incident report online after every home game. After 3 home football games so far this year at RES there have been a total of 14 incidents of drinking or intoxication. No where near what you describe.

  • 2BCSWINS West of I15, UT
    Sept. 27, 2013 10:37 a.m.

    @cordonbleu...."Apples and oranges comparison. The fact that Utah plays Oregon and Stanford later in the season doesn't prove anything regarding how Utah has played so far."

    True what does prove how the utes played so far in comparison of the cougies is they have already played each other. In case you forgot about that we don't need to compare anything there is no need because they played each other already and yet again the U won for the 4th straight year and 9 of the last 12.

    If it makes you feel better though like some other cougie fans go ahead and continue to tell yourself the cougies are better even though they can't beat them on the field...LOL

  • 2BCSWINS West of I15, UT
    Sept. 27, 2013 10:21 a.m.

    @Scott...."Call us the next time Utah racks up 550 yards on ANYBODY. Texas may not be a Top 25 team this year, but they're certainly not a Weber State either. The Utes were doing plenty of chest beating about racking up 70 points on the lowly Wildcats."

    Scott not sure what your point is? Call us the next time the cougies beat the utes...LOL

  • Thefullnancy SOUTH JORDAN, UT
    Sept. 27, 2013 10:21 a.m.

    Newsflash to fans of both blue and red. BYU doesn't need Utah to be bad to be good and vice versa.Just to illustrate the hypocrisy and immaturity of fans on both sides I'll relay two stories from game day. In a store in PG when I went through the line to pay the cashier commented that I must be a Ute fan because of the beer in my basket. The look on her face was priceless when I told her I was a beer drinking Y fan and not a fan of the U. While at the game a Ute fan sitting behind who bragged loudly of drinking, mocked the honor code used extremely vulgar terms to describe Y cheerleaders and wished injured players to be "hurt for life". Stereotypes, yes. But both are putzes that exist on both sides that make this contest more than what it is. A football game.

  • skywalker Palo Alto, CA
    Sept. 27, 2013 9:25 a.m.

    Samurai Jake

    "this beat writer, notorious or not, clearly presents his story in an glaringly biased way"

    First of all, Jeff Benedict is not a beat writer, he is considered one of America's top investigative journalists and nonfiction writers. He has written eleven critically acclaimed books and is a special features writer for Sports Illustrated with more than a hundred articles covering sports, violence against women, gambling, Mormonism and food safety.

    Secondly, the only reason you're characterizing the article as "glaringly biased" is because he boldly reported the behavior of Utah fans that he personally witnessed at RES.

    Having personnally attended many games at RES, I can confirm that Jeff accurately described exactly the type of behavior that occurs regularly at RES. Similar, isolated incidents occur at LES and other stadiums, but not anywhere close to the scale with which they occur at RES.

  • JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt Beverly Hills, CA
    Sept. 26, 2013 11:00 p.m.

    You know how to not get busted for violating the Honor Code? Don't sign it and then go party multiple times in Vegas with your drinking buddies. It is irrelevant how he got caught. BYU fans are upset about this but I am sure some of them have heavily condemned other non athlete Honor Code breakers. They probably have turned in a person or two themselves.

  • frugalfly PULLMAN, WA
    Sept. 26, 2013 9:52 p.m.

    I have seen BYU play in Texas, Arizona, Boise and Utah. I have seen BYU play Utah 3 times at LES and by far, the most vile language and most terrible conduct I have ever seen at any athletic contest in my life was when I attended RES. It was rampant and completely out of control. I am saddened by the conduct toward the officiating crew from cougar fans. I read this article on and the comments at the end from Ute fans, antimormons, and a mixture of the two is such a debasing thing. This rivalry must end. For the sake of respect and to take away the opportunity for anti mormons to grind against the church and take any sucker punch possible, using this football game's platform, this rivalry must end. It is so sad and makes the actual football game and its outcome seem inconsequential when there are huge devisive and disrespectful comments about things so personal as religion. Say what you want to say about the game, players and coaches (within the context of the game) but the disrespect toward individuals and religious beliefs is really terrible. The rivalry has taken a new low...

  • Utesnation Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 7:39 p.m.

    Seriously, I doubt a Ute fan had anything to do with the "Darren Lucy" email. Most Ute fans had heard of Hadley but wouldn't know him out in public until now and the guy he was with either. For Ute fan to have been at the same party and recognize Hadley and know about Jacob Stocking is such a stretch as to make it beyond incredible. Also, the email said they were a "die hard Utah Utes fan" seems extremely suspicious and exaggerated. Ute fans refer to ourselves as a "Ute fan" not a "Utah Utes fan", especially when speaking or emailing someone associated with them. And why wouldn't "Darren Lucy" just have come forward in person to the media, but start this on the Cougar Board anonymously? If you are gullible enough to believe a Ute fan ratted out one of your cougars, you are extremely naive. You need to look at one of your own on this telling story. Furthermore, this "Darren Lucy" could be a blessing in disguise if Hadley truly stays the course. So stop blaming a Ute Fan for his honor code violation.

  • Two For Flinching Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 6:55 p.m.

    "btw, if BYU is so "terrible", then why did the Utes only manage to beat the Cougars by 7 points in a game that wasn't decided until the last play"

    Poor judgment by E. Rowe. From start to finish BYU was never in the game. And BYU was never seriously threatening to push the game into OT on the last play.

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 3:52 p.m.

    BlueCoug et al,

    Why was Jeff Benedict on this fireside trip at all? President Monson has been doing good works for the past 50 years. He does not draw attention to himself or his many good works. He does not have a media guy follow him around making sure his experiences get printed in the media. Christians are admonished to do good works in secret. So why was Benedict invited to go? Only the people involved can answer that. Why does he turn something positive into an attack on Utah? Not only is the Lowell Bennion Community Service Center involved with many students and athletes in acts of service but the LDS Institute of Religion and Catholic Services are as well. They don't run to the news media every time they do something positive. BYU fans need to accept the fact that their school is not the only one that gets involved in serving the community.

    As for disciplinary actions at the U we do not know of all the actions taken because most of the time these are private matters between the athlete, coaching staff, school and in a lot of cases Mormon bishops or other ecclesiastic leaders.

  • jdaliix Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 3:44 p.m.

    The tattling was done by one person, folks, and so for those who are saying "fans," it's not fair. I'm a Ute fan, and I was VERY disappointed when I learned Hadley couldn't play, and to this moment I'd call for a lynching squad to track down the perpetrator and string 'em up. But you have to understand something, and that's that it might have been a staunchly pious Mormon who did this, just doing his or her duty, feeling right about, and not caring a thing for the game.

    My second point is about Utah fans. If that's truly how those badly-raised children are at the games, if I were the team I'd say something to the student fans about it, such as, "Please don't denigrate us as a team by your deplorable behavior. Sportsmanship is far more important than winning. We will do everything in our power to distance ourselves from your type."

    Spencer Hadley is a GREAT young man, and he had absolutely nothing to confess or feel badly about. His school is the only thing making him feel as though he had done wrong. He didn't.

  • Utes home for the holidays Sandy, UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 3:28 p.m.


    He's biased because he reported what he saw? I suppose he should have made up byu fans spitting on ute players just to make you happy? Sorry, that's not journalism. As for the ute fans also mocking what byu stands for, that one is more difficult to make up. If Utah doesn't have standards and values to begin with, byu fans can't really mock them, as they don't exist.

  • Wayne Rout El Paso, TX
    Sept. 26, 2013 2:58 p.m.

    Stories like this make me proud and honored to be a BYU graduate. There's no place like BYU. I love the school more every time I go back. I wish more young people could attend the Y. I remain puzzled that some of those outside the BYU family can't grasp the value of standards. It is better to stand for good things and be committed to what you believe than to blindly surrender to the status of liberalism.

  • Sports Are Great Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 2:44 p.m.


    I'll just say I'm not surprised what an unbiased reporter saw when he attended a Utah/BYU game. I'm not surprised at what he saw from the Utah "fans" and I'm not surprised at what he didn't see from the BYU fans. Many ute "fans" commenting tried to claim the guy was partial to BYU. Another falsehood from the ute fans. He reported what he saw. I'm sorry it doesn't agree with what you wish to believe were true. Take it up with him.

  • Samurai Jake Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 1:27 p.m.


    "It's possible, though not likely, that Texas could be a Top 10 team by season's end, and Stanford and/or Oregon could be unranked."

    Seriously? Lol

    Here's a common sense spoiler for you: the Longhorns will NOT end up ranked inside the top 10 this year! (Teams looking to fire their long tenured coach do NOT end up a top 10 ranked team, EVER!) And, there's ZERO chance that Stanford and Oregon end the season unranked, zero.

    I shouldn't be surprised that the delusions from Happy Valley continue.

    And for the record, this beat writer, notorious or not, clearly presents his story in an glaringly biased way. So much for objective sports reporting.

  • DraperUteFan Draper, UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 12:31 p.m.

    Uteanymous, why don't you go back and read all the posts carefully. Cordon Bleu was bragging up BYUs SOS, which I questioned given their losses. I wasn't bragging up Utah's SOS due to wins/losses by Utah. Alpine Scott ripped on Utah for their game against Weber State as if Utah plays a soft schedule. I replied that the SOS of Utah was stronger. Please read all the posts.

    The fans showing bias are Cougar fans giving more credence to a win over a Texas team who is nothing more than a computer ranking right now. Their on field performance has not been good. Texas barely squeaked by Kansas State, a team who has already lost to North Dakota State this year. K State's only victories this year were against Louisiana Lafayette and Umass.

    As for Utah, coach Whit said they are an average team and I agree. Where on any post did I brag up Utah being a great team?

  • DraperUteFan Draper, UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 12:13 p.m.

    SAG, I'm not having trouble following at all, but apparently you are. I said nothing of your comment about the article or writer. Nada.

    What I took issue with was your commentary about Utah fans. I've been a season ticket holder at Rice Eccles for nearly 20 years. I've seen some fan behavior that I don't like or condone, but nearly every fan I sit by or watch near me are classy, upstanding, good people who are good sports. I don't know too many Cougar fans who can understand the paradox of having good fans and a few bad apples at Utah, yet they all get squeamish when the magnifying glass is turned back in the direction of their fans boorish behavior.

    I asked you a straight up question and you ignored that and the discussion about class and sportsmanship. I'd say you need to go back and read closely, then respond about BYU fan behavior being considerably more classy than Utah fans after some Cougar fan's meltdown at LES.

  • Uteanymous Salt Lake City, Utah
    Sept. 26, 2013 12:11 p.m.


    You're seriously comparing current records versus future SOS based on your own personal biases? Get real.

    How do you know that Texas and BYU won't turn things around and finish the season strong?
    How do you know that Utah won't get destroyed by UCLA and tank the rest of the season?

    Regardless of "projected" SOS, if BYU finishes 8-4 and Utah finishes 4-8, NOBODY is going to care about SOS.

    Currently, BYU's best win is versus #37 Texas, an elite program, that may or may not have a good team this year.

    Currently, Utah's best win is versus #36 Utah St or #43 BYU, take your pick, neither of which is an elite program, and it remains to be seen how good they'll be by season's end.

    Oregon St may or may not turn out to be better than Virginia.

    At this point in the season, it's all speculation, despite your crimson-glasses shaded analysis.

    btw, if BYU is so "terrible", then why did the Utes only manage to beat the Cougars by 7 points in a game that wasn't decided until the last play.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 12:07 p.m.

    I'm okay with most of Jeff's article. It is truly an inspiring story about the road back from mistakes made. However, if Mr. Benedict was going to make comments about the University of Utah like he did, he should have spent some time observing the Utes in practice and speaking at firesides like they often do, before making judgements about the program and publishing them in a national publication. If he's going to thrust himself into the middle of the rivalry by making such comments, he should do it right and spend time on both sides. A good journalist would do that.

  • UoU 1991 Park City, UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 11:40 a.m.


    Max Hall was outplaying Bradford at the time Sam was injured and BYU's defense was dominating Oklahoma's offense. If you don't believe that, go back and watch the game and see for yourself.

    Three of the first 4 players selected in the 2009 NFL draft were on that Oklahoma team that finished 8-5, with all five losses to Top 25 teams, including four losses by a total of 12 points.

    Oklahoma stomped then #12 Okla St 27-0 in their regular season finale, and beat PAC 10 runner-up, then #21 Stanford 31-27 in the Sun Bowl.

    Oklahoma finished #26 in the final AP poll, #29 in the final Coaches poll, and #17 in the final 2009 Sagarin rankings.

    Any fan claiming that Oklahoma wasn't a big game win for BYU either didn't pay attention to the rest of the season, or is just blowing smoke.

    Lest we forget, BYU also beat #18/#18 Utah(10-3) in 2009.

  • DraperUteFan Draper, UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 11:40 a.m.

    CordonBleu, perhaps you should be consistent in your comparisons. Texas hasn't beaten anyone who is any good. Texas has had time to make adjustments since getting torched two weeks in a row on the ground and firing their D coordinator. Your assumption that they will be a good team at the end of the season is just that...assumption.

    You claim Texas is better because of the Sagarin ratings (highly suspect at this juncture in the season), yet Virginia is not good at all and BYU was terrible against them and not much better against Utah.

    SOS to this point in the season...really? BYU is 1-2, with the one victory against an unproven team who frankly looked terrible two weeks in a row. Hook Em Horns nation is begging for Mack Brown to be fired.

    Utah's overall SOS throughout the season is tougher, period. Why would you mention SOS to date in BYU's favor when they haven't won games to make a big deal out of SOS? Makes no sense.

  • Sports Are Great Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 11:40 a.m.

    DraperUte, You're having a tough time following aren't you? Many ute fans have tried to dismiss the guy's reporting that he was shocked at the horrible behavior of Ute fans including spitting on byu players, by saying he is a biased byu fan. I made a simply point in proving that is not the case. Really pretty simple concept.

  • Big J Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 11:24 a.m.

    I enjoyed reading the story and wish all the best to Spencer Hadley. He messed up. We all mess up. He is dealing with the consequences as we all do when we mess up. Whether he was “outed” or confessed I’m pretty sure the punishment would have been the same. He did the deed.

    To fans from both schools; each fan base has the 10% idiots. Most fans are respectful of the others. I have witnessed the behavior Jeff Benedict talks about at Utah home games. I’ve witnessed the same behavior at BYU home games. I’ve stopped this behavior in the Utah stands. I am sure others have stopped that behavior in the BYU stands. Neither fan base is blameless. We all need to be better fans.

    Each school is different and has different rules. Each school deals with their athletes according to their rules. They are not the same and will never be. Hadley would not have been suspended at Utah. At BYU he was.

    There are hypocrites at both schools. Utah won the game. It was important to both schools to win.

  • DraperUteFan Draper, UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 11:21 a.m.

    Sports Are Great, so throwing stuff at officials is considerably classier? How about roughing up the opposing team's coach as BYU fans did to Whit's wife in 2011 in LES?

    I don't assume all BYU fans are terrible sports because of the actions of a few Saturday after the game when they blamed the officials for their team's inability to execute plays and win the game.

    Too many Cougar fans globalize the actions of a few and judge the entirety of anyone who isn't exactly like them. I guess the height of classy is to judge all people who belong to the red side as classless.

    Is it any wonder why there are some who choose to affiliate with the TDS?

  • CordonBleu Park City, UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 11:14 a.m.


    "Look at the SOS numbers Scott. Overall, the Utes schedule is tougher than BYU's (ranked in the top 20 for SOS)"

    Apples and oranges comparison. The fact that Utah plays Oregon and Stanford later in the season doesn't prove anything regarding how Utah has played so far.

    If you're going to knock Texas, at least be consistent in your comparisons. Current Sagarin rankings.

    #36 Utah State
    #37 Texas
    #42 Utah
    #43 BYU
    #48 Oregon St
    #67 Virginia
    #102 Mid Tenn St
    #172 Weber St

    Games played to date:

    BYU #30 SOS
    Utah #52 SOS

    BYU has played #37 Texas, #42 Utah, and #67 Virginia
    Utah has played #36 Utah St, #43 BYU, #48 Oregon St, and #172 Weber St

    After the MTSU game, BYU's SOS will still be stronger than Utah's, and may still be stronger after the Utah St and UCLA games.

    Bottom line, rankings and records will change throughout the season, but the only ones that matter are the end of season rankings and records. It's possible, though not likely, that Texas could be a Top 10 team by season's end, and Stanford and/or Oregon could be unranked.

  • Sports Are Great Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 10:53 a.m.

    If you read his article on Steve Young you'll see he says he cheered against BYU growing up.

    And yet ute "fans" want to claim he's a BYU fan as a way of dismissing the horrible behavior by ute fans he writes about, including spitting on byu players. Stay classy utes

  • WA_Alum&Dad Marysville, WA
    Sept. 26, 2013 10:42 a.m.

    I made the mistake of reading Jeff's article before a business meeting on my BlackBerry. Gratefully, I don't think anyone noticed me quietly wiping away tears.

    Looking forward to getting Hadley back.

    Most importantly, thank you Jeff for the great insights you've shared the past few weeks in the DesNews, and in your excellent book _The_System_. I got it a couple of days ago and have had a very hard time putting it down for trivial things like sleeping and going to work.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 10:27 a.m.

    "The last big game I know of that BYU won was Oklahoma, and that has been a few years."

    A game in which Bradford got injured and with their backup Oklahoma went something like 7-6 that year.

  • talkinsports Gilbert, AZ
    Sept. 26, 2013 10:12 a.m.

    Yale dude

    "If this were a Service Academy or Ivy League athlete, he would have been removed from the team or dis-enrolled from the school. Example: Air Force indefinitely suspended its starting quarterback this week for an honor violation."

    What, specifically, was the honor code violation that Hadley was suspended for? (You do realize, don't you, that Hadley's suspension was also announced as an "indefinite" suspension? Five games is the minimum, it could be longer.)

    What, specifically, was the honor code violation that the Air Force cadet was suspended for "indefinitely"? (You do realize, don't you, that "indefinitely" could be one game or the rest of the season?)

    It's interesting that you claimed that a Service Academy athlete would have been "removed from the team or dis-enrolled from the school" for breaking the honor code, yet now you're saying he received the exact same punishment as Hadley, an indefinite suspension.

  • DraperUteFan Draper, UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 9:59 a.m.

    For the record, Alpine Scott, I don't know a single Ute player, coach, or fan who were thumping their chests much after the Weber State win. Perhaps you have photos or a quote to back that up?

    As for the "jealous hysteria and panic," if playing in the PAC 12 conference, beating BYU 4 consecutive years and 9 of the last 12, having a stronger strength of schedule, showcasing a humble and talented quarterback who can actually keep his throws in the stadium, and having a lot of great kids on and off the field are the Utes problems, I'll take them.

    Congrats to Hadley and his success. Most Ute fans I know and on this board have wished him well.

  • Ragnar Danneskjold Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 9:56 a.m.


    I am not a BYU fan, but BYU has the biggest victory in the state over the past few years. They beat Utah State last year who ended the season ranked #16. That is probably the biggest win for the big 3 football programs in a number of years.
    That is one thing that has been missing for the Utes over the last several years. They have surprisingly not been able to top a ranked team for some time. Something they used to have a reputation of doing.

    I agree with what you are saying about Texas though. Cougar fans need to give that up. It was a good victory, but the season is still obviously a disappointment so far to any Cougar fan who is looking at it honestly.

  • DraperUteFan Draper, UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 9:21 a.m.

    Scott, you are seriously reaching. Racking up yards doesn't mean squat if you still lose the game. If racking up yards and points were all the mattered in college football, the University of Houston would have multiple national championships by now. Apparently you didn't see that the mighty Longhorns gave up 272 yards on the ground the following week at home no less. They had an entire week to right the ship and the home crowd and still could not stop the run.

    Furthermore, last I checked, Middle Tennessee State (the next opponent on BYU's schedule) is not exactly a powerhouse. Look at the SOS numbers Scott. Overall, the Utes schedule is tougher than BYU's (ranked in the top 20 for SOS).

    Scott, honest question here. When and who was the last team BYU beat who was actually good at the time they beat them? Look over the schedule at all the big games BYU has played over the last several years. Notre Dame, Florida State, etc. They lost pretty much all the big games that mattered. The last big game I know of that BYU won was Oklahoma, and that has been a few years.

  • Riddles in the Dark Olympus Cove, Utah
    Sept. 26, 2013 8:58 a.m.


    "How can we just take Hadley at his word that " NCAA violations occurred"???"

    Typical BYU hater, ready to throw Hadley under the bus because of allegations made without a shred of proof through an anonymous email by a self-described "die-hard Utah fan" who immediately went into hiding after he sent the email.

    The guy that the mysterious emailer "claimed" was a BYU booster, is a Hadley family friend, but he's never contributed a dime to BYU, and as far as BYU's records show, has never even attended a game at BYU.

    The article, btw, was posted yesterday as the lead story on the front page of Sports Illustrated's website.

    Gotta laugh at the jealous hysteria and panic that ensues on the hill every time BYU is spotlighted in the national media.

  • scott Alpine, UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 8:46 a.m.


    Call us the next time Utah racks up 550 yards on ANYBODY. Texas may not be a Top 25 team this year, but they're certainly not a Weber State either. The Utes were doing plenty of chest beating about racking up 70 points on the lowly Wildcats.

  • 3grandslams Iowa City, IA
    Sept. 26, 2013 8:34 a.m.

    I think its time for this die hard ute fan to tell his side of the story too and why he felt the need to send an anonymous email to the U of U. If you thought what Max Hall said was bad, this fan has taken the rivalry to a new low.

  • Top5Alive salt lake city, UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 8:14 a.m.

    LOL! Wow! Has it gone to the point that BYU's overall football program is over shadowed by a poor little kids stupid actions rather than winning on the field. I love it. 0-4 and 9-12 years. HAHAHAHAHAHHA

  • Sindia Cedar Hills, UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 8:08 a.m.

    Jeff Benedict is one of my favorite writers and bloggers. I've followed his writing for years now. He cares more about growing his organic garden, attending plays, and being with his family than he does about football. And until he wrote his book The System, he cared even less about BYU football. (He was born and raised on the east coast and did not attend BYU.) Because he is LDS, should he be excluded from covering an interesting article about a BYU football player that relates to his book about how college football can be corrupting to players? Nevertheless, for a guy who has been covering all the shady things about college football for more than a year, I am sure it was refreshing for him to be able to cover something as redemptive as what he saw at the prison fireside last week.

  • Bluto Sandy, UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 7:52 a.m.


    Keep spinning.
    U just can't handle the truth.

    Mr. Benedict is a renowned sports journalist. At the top of his game.
    Nobody in the world of sports would characterize him the way you do.
    He had never even been to BYU or attended a game. He came in unbiased and fresh and reported things the way he saw them....Objectively!

    He broke the NBA-Refs-gambling story years ago.
    He is very well respected in his field.

    It's just amazing to me how Ute fans can't ever acknowledge BYU when a positive story is written about them.

    BYU looks great in this story. Deal with it!
    Just as Ziggy and Kyle Van Noy do in theirs.

    Now maybe you Ute fans might begin to understand what Bronco meant when he said, football is 5th in priority. BYU looks exceptional in this story.

    Ute fans and their administration look like the little brothers they are, willing to pull out all the stops, at any cost, just for a win.

    U won the latest battle Ute fans, but regarding perception in the eyes of the Nation, BYU won the War.

  • Y_is_for_Yale Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 7:34 a.m.

    If this were a Service Academy or Ivy League athlete, he would have been removed from the team or dis-enrolled from the school. Example: Air Force indefinitely suspended its starting quarterback this week for an honor violation. Instead, BYU gives this kid a 5-game suspension and allows Van Noy (who broke the law prior to enrollment) to enroll in the school. "Honor" may be something that BYU thinks it can put on a jersey, but it's clearly not something the school takes seriously, at least when it comes to applying that standard to its football team.

  • Steve Leeflang Sunnyvale, CA
    Sept. 26, 2013 12:44 a.m.

    Could have been a great story all of us could enjoy... BYU fans didn't need the bias to enjoy the story and only a poor sport ute fan would have objected if he would have left out the anti Ute spin. Looks like the author gave way to his baser instincts and now many of us are following suit.

  • Utes11 Salt Lake City, Utah
    Sept. 26, 2013 12:18 a.m.

    Dear Sports Are Great,
    Calling Mr Benedict an unbiased reporter is a STRETCH. He is the author of several books on LDS topics and could be considered a BYU fan. He had to be invited to come to the prison trip by the SID at BYU. The entire story sounds like a set-up. How can we just take Hadley at his word that " NCAA violations occurred"??? Where is the investigative reporting? Has he interviewed Mr Stocking? Where is THAT investigation? A true unbiased reporter would not post the article on his own website with a 'romantic' picture of Hadley.

  • Utahcitizen Salt Lake City, Utah
    Sept. 25, 2013 9:39 p.m.

    I'm sorry but I think this article is sick. I am cancelling my subscription to the Deseret News and never reading another thing on this website. I am sorry for all the victims.

  • Cincinnatus Kearns, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 7:25 p.m.

    Good way to obfuscate, Sportsfan.

    I've got no illusions about Utah's program.

    The point was that Texas is NOT a top 25 team this year. Their program is having some difficulties of their own, particularly their defense. Which means that holding up the Texas win as a bright spot in BYU's season may not mean very much, especially by the end of the season. Time will tell.

  • DraperUteFan Draper, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 6:57 p.m.

    Glad to hear Hadley is getting his life in order. The bitterness of the blue fans is old. You can hate Ute fans, call us hypocrites, cry about the fact that you BYU has an honor code that precludes some players from playing, etc.

    Utah has 48 LDS kids on their team, many returned missionaries. Some players on the Utes come from tough places and difficult backgrounds I doubt you ever had to traverse as a youth. Judge and cast stones if you will, it only makes you look ever more lacking in the spirit of the Lord you profess to represent. Many of those kids come out of college much better people than when they came to Utah. Quinton Ganther and Mike Anderson are just a couple of examples.

    Blue Coug, Ute players often visit sick kids in the hospital. Read the book about Eric Weddle and you'll see he was just one of many Utes who often do much service. Whit makes sure the guys get out in the community. For you to judge without any knowledge of what the players are doing is just more of the same superiority complex some BYU fans have.

  • GK Willington Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 6:29 p.m.

    Where's the proof that the photographer was a Ute fan? Nudge nudge wink wink say no more.

    Everytime I listen to track 3 on Metallica's Black Album, it reminds of good # (not all) of Byu fans.

  • SportsFan Orem, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 6:04 p.m.

    "They had a great game, but as it turns out Texas program is having problems of its own."

    Texas is still a program that is loaded with more 4- and 5-star athletes than Utah could ever dream of having.

  • BlueCoug Orem, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 6:01 p.m.


    Having graduated from the U, I know there are many Utah students involved in community service, however, when was the last time the Utah football team performed a true act of selfless service, for a group completely unconnected to Utah athletics, on the eve of an important football game?

    Saying it is one thing; actually doing it is quite another.

  • mattmo Gallatin, MO
    Sept. 25, 2013 5:56 p.m.

    Let's not bicker and fight about who told on who let's just be glad that Hadley is doing the right thing and being a great example to many of us who have weakness and how to overcome through doing the tough things to free himself through Christ. It's OK to humble yourself and own up to your weakness and ask for help. It is better to do it on your own but, even if it is because someone told no need to put the blame on that person for snitching but, own up and take responsibility for your mistake. Love you Bro. Hadley.

  • NevadaCoug Overton, NV
    Sept. 25, 2013 5:43 p.m.

    "Maybe I violated the letter of the honor code, too, when I didn't rat them out;"

    I attended BYU and never felt is my job, or my responsibility, or whatever, to "rat somebody out" if they weren't keeping the Honor Code 100%. If I had a roommate who was doing something I didn't agree with, I talked with the roommate. I didn't go running to the compliance office. Those who believe they should do so for every little infraction are misunderstanding what the Honor Code really is.

  • Cincinnatus Kearns, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 5:18 p.m.

    2bits said:

    "They trounced the Texas Longhorns! How is THAT a lack-luster start for the Cougs?"

    They had a great game, but as it turns out Texas program is having problems of its own. Mac Brown is on the hot seat and could be forced out. Ranked #15 when they played the Y, but it appears that that ranking may have been inflated based on their history. They will be lucky to win 6 or 7 games this year, and probably none against ranked opponents.

    "The season isn't over. It's just the BYU-Utah game. Means NOTHING to either school's record or chances. It's just a local game for the entertainment of the fans."

    Of course the season isn't over, but to say the game means nothing to either school's record or chances is disingenuous. In fact there were articles in the DN about why the Utah and Utah State games are so important in defining the Y's season, and about how the Utah-BYU is more important to the Y than the U. Every loss matters when you are independent. Non-conference losses aren't as important when your in a conference.

  • scott Alpine, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 5:12 p.m.


    Hadley is entirely responsible for breaking the Honor Code.

    Since when is it a Utah fan's responsibility to police BYU students for possible Honor Code violations, especially for violations that wouldn't even raise an eyebrow at the U?

    Not only did the Utah fan stick his nose in something that was none of his business, he lied about possible NCAA violations for the sole purpose of forcing Utah's compliance office to become active participants in a devious scheme to force BYU to suspend a star player immediately prior to the Utah game.

    Spin it however helps you sleep at night, but that's exactly what happened.

  • kosimov Riverdale, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 5:12 p.m.

    @Lonestar - Thanks for posting the part of the article which showed that Hadley had already made the right decision and was resolved to go to his coach with his actions. It seems that there are quite a few people involved in this rivalry who believe something which has been a pet peeve of mine for years: do whatever you can to win no matter how wrong it is. If you don't get caught, it is a good strategy for winning.

    I've often cringed when watching a BYU game and the announcer (excluding Jay Lloyd, who I've never heard a single bad word or idea from ever!) remarks that a kid "got away with a foul". He then voices his philosophy that athletes should learn how to foul when the ref isn't looking because it may help their team win. The only time it is wrong is if you get caught. My 4'9" grandmother once took on my 6'2" grandfather for saying this, and that made me aware of how wrong it is. Much of what goes on which winds up in a maelstrom here happens because of that terribly wrong attitude; why do we allow it to exist?

  • Ed Grady Idaho Falls, ID
    Sept. 25, 2013 5:04 p.m.

    Great SI article - ignore the haters - it's all they have.

  • kosimov Riverdale, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 4:57 p.m.

    When I attended BYU as an engineering student, I took unusual classes sometimes which I though would be good for me. I took a few semesters of logic, philosophy, etc. What an experience! They are still my favorites.

    I learned how very easy it is to make big mistakes, and I see those kinds of mistakes all the time on these blogs. I learned to step back and take another angle to understand an issue. One mistake occurs almost every message here! In simple terms, it is to assign a class or group of people a negative trait based only on having seen that trait in one member of the group. See a U or BYU fan (or a small number of fans) do something wrong? Well then, you can blame the entire school. Irritated by some aspect of the Mormon Churches influence in Utah? One mistake by one or two BYU fans is enough to indict the entire LDS Church. And so on.

    If I feel upset about a game or other issue, I usually write one comment in notepad, then write another, more thought out comment on the blog. Saves a lot of embarassment for me.

  • DraperUteFan Draper, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 4:55 p.m.

    @Utes Home For The Holidays

    The University of Utah athletic department did the right thing by forwarding the email, knowing what BYU stands for. Did you forget that Bronco was pretty bent about Hadley's actions and called the suspension "indefinite?"

    One single fan sent the photos to the AD's office and you castigate the entire fan base as hypocrites?

    I'm not ready to brand all Cougar fans as classless simply because a few fans in the stands through things at the referees leaving the stadium.

    The guy broke the honor code, end of story. The coach and honor code office suspended him, not the University of Utah or its fans.

  • Solomon Levi Alpine, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 4:39 p.m.


    "I don't know all of Utah's team rules but to suggest that this behavior would have drawn no suspension at Utah is just plain disgusting."


    Cite one single instance in Utah football history where a Utah player has been suspended from the team, or even reprimanded, for simply consuming alcohol at a party.

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 4:38 p.m.


    You have obviously never heard of the Lowell Bennion Community Service Center at the University of Utah. Just like BYU, many universities do wonderful things through volunteer service. The U of U has the wonderful Bennion Center. Learn more about it. It is online.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Sept. 25, 2013 4:31 p.m.

    I wouldn't be so sure this was really an ardent Utah fan sending in the pictures. Its more than likely it was an ardent gambler trying to get an edge on a bet.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 4:22 p.m.


    Where is your evidence this snitch wasn't a utah "fan"? he obviously was trying to damage BYU by falsely claiming this occured with a booster? Do you really think a BYU fan would do that? You're really big on BYU fans "owning up" to the things they do and any shortcoming BYU may have but why the lame attempt at deflection from the admitted utah "fan" that instigated all of this? That should be embarrassing enough for utah "fans" but you are simply heaping on another layer of classlessness.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 4:15 p.m.


    Actually from Benedict's previous articles "we all know" he grew up DISLIKING BYU. He stated it right in his article about Steve Young. Nice try but you fail as do so many other utah "fans" trying to portray themselves as victims in a holier than thou fashion.

  • USNGary San Diego, CA
    Sept. 25, 2013 4:00 p.m.

    for all of you complaining about the journalist talking about utah fans and what they did, truth hurts huh. I know BYU fans aren't the best, especially seeing what happened with the refs-they deserved it. Quit mocking the honor code, turn your own players in when the do break the LAW-puff puff......

  • SoonerUte Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 3:51 p.m.

    "Die hard Utah Utes fan"
    You can believe everything you read in an email. That Nigerian Prince that wants to deposit 20 million dollars into your bank account? Totally true. Go for it.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 3:44 p.m.

    @Arizona Reader
    RE: "As frustrated as I am with the lack-luster start for the Cougs"...

    They trounced the Texas Longhorns! How is THAT a lack-luster start for the Cougs?

    They lost to Utah... BIG DEAL... get over that. It's just another game. They have lots bigger games coming up this year and don't need fans that give up after just two losses to good teams.

    The season isn't over. It's just the BYU-Utah game. Means NOTHING to either school's record or chances. It's just a local game for the entertainment of the fans.

    IF Hadley makes the turn around he seems poised to do... I'll be happy.

    If BYU wins their other big games this year it should make even a BYU fan happy. It's not over yet. In reality... the Utah game means nothing.

  • Eddie Syracuse, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 3:37 p.m.

    This is yet another story that will give a huge advantage to BYU in the future, not only in sports but in respect on the National side. People around the Nation will read this article and see what BYU is really all about. Parents that want what is best for their children, will push them toward BYU because they know that sports is not really what matters most in ones life. Can you imagine what lives have been changed already in that prison! Life goes on and LIVES are changed due to a tragic thing in someone's life. What has happened here folks, is a University with some principals, is showing that the value of the human soul is much more important and valuable than any sports competition. Thank God for a place like BYU!

  • ute alumni paradise, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 3:35 p.m.

    truth please
    I'll help you understand the article because you obviously can't read or chose to comment without reading it. Attendees were substance abusers, bot murders. Why read the article if you have such a bias against byu or maybe "mormons". having BEEN a longtime utah booster and scholarship box sponsor,, "fans"like you are why I spend my limited time following the Ÿ".

  • Red Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 3:27 p.m.

    Some utes are lame. Some cougars are lame.

    Everyone has a choice of how they are going to treat other people and whether or not they want to do the right thing as they believe.

    We are all in this world together. Let's figure out how to make the place better.

    This is a great story about how Spencer got on the right path.

    I will cheer for this kid all day long.

  • Trevvor Sandy, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 3:18 p.m.

    SMS and the truth - Him being Mormon hardly signifies a bias in byu's favor. Unless you think all Mormon utes are inwardly battling an automatic preference to byu in addition to their outward preference for Utah.

    Perhaps things aren't as "balanced" as you wish to believe SMS. He published what he noticed. Deal with it.

  • LonestarRunner Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 3:11 p.m.

    From the article:

    "On his way home from the most recent getaway to Vegas, Hadley told his friend he would not be returning. "I came to the decision on my own that this is not who I am or what I'm about," Hadley said. "I didn't like the way I felt after leaving that place. So I had planned to talk to my coach about it and set the record straight. But the email came in before I got to him."

    Sounds like Spencer had already made the decision, before the email was sent, to "set the record straight" with his coach and accept whatever consequences followed. We all make mistakes; fortunately, most of us are given the opportunity to make amends for those mistakes in private. I wonder how whoever ratted Hadley out would have reacted if the roles had been reversed. Actually, we already know the answer - whoever wrote the email immediately went into hiding.

  • hedgehog Ann Arbor, MI
    Sept. 25, 2013 2:47 p.m.

    This SI article would have meant a lot more if Jeff Benidict wasn't a mormon and a bYu homer. It reeks of a calculated spin control. Also, I find it typical of bYu fans to shift the blame away from th actually HC violator and onto anything Utah.

    Again, spin until it becomes reality.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    Sept. 25, 2013 2:38 p.m.

    I wish the extreme fans of both sides would just grow up. But when stuff happens, let's call it for what it is....despicable behavior. To act like your side is lilly white while the others are in the wrong, just doesn't make sense. If Benedict saw something the Ute fans did, shame on them. I saw the You Tube of Y fans throwing trash at the refs. Shame on them too. The fact that one side is doing it to you is no excuse. Let's drop the righteous indignation on both sides until this garbage stops.

    As for Hadley, I wish him all the best and love the way he owns his mistakes. I also know great student athletes on the Utah side. Let's remember in the end, these are just young kids and they need our example and leadership ---stop dragging them into this senseless hateful environment.

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 2:32 p.m.

    This article serves to contribute to the vitriole that has risen between Utah and BYU. Benedict states, "In any other big-time college football program -- including, most notably, Utah's -- Hadley's behavior would not have drawn a suspension. At 23 he's of legal age to drink. And there's no law against visiting a nightclub." How does Benedict know this? Yes, Hadley is of legal age but teams like Utah have their own rules of behavior. It is called breaking team rules. I don't know all of Utah's team rules but to suggest that this behavior would have drawn no suspension at Utah is just plain disgusting. And if Benedict knew that as a fact then he should have got a quote from Whittingham or the Athletic Dept stating that no suspension would have been given at Utah. The simple truth is Benedict doesn't know the Utah team rules and he doesn't know how Utah would have responded. And what does Benedict mean by "....Most notably Utah...." What is he trying to say? Very biased and very poor reporting.

  • the thruth please WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 2:06 p.m.

    I'm sure the hardened criminals were truly moved

    A heartfelt story about how a privileged middle to upper class 23-year-old on a full academic scholarship had once "drank" Ace of Spades champagne while in a high end casino night club surrounded my beautiful women. So many life long lessons can be learned from that one fateful night

    I can only imagine how he was able to overcome this horrible situation?!

    What a brave young man willing to share his story only a week after his photo hit the internet! And to share it to a bunch of inmates at the Utah State Prison who are mostly likely there because they've harmed or killed somebody. It must have touched their hearts too.

    Why is this even a story, seriously? I am a Utah fan not "fanatic" and if this involved a Utah player I would be embarrassed!

    The author is LDS and has published many articles on BYU athletics. His sister also attends BYU. So yes, he is biased so take it for what its worth folks.

  • Arizona Reader Gilbert, AZ
    Sept. 25, 2013 1:50 p.m.

    Agreed! This is an inspiring story. As frustrated as I am with the lack-luster start for the Cougs, stories like this put sports into perspective. Life isn't about sports, it's about using sports to reach ends like this. Grateful to the writer for putting something like this together. So often we simply want justice...unless it comes to us, then we want mercy. I hope to be able to give us much forgiveness and mercy and I can.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 1:35 p.m.

    The party I refer to is the party in Vegas. From the earlier article... he was there with some BYU supporters. Why didn't THEY report it?

    I don't know why you feel the need to bring Blechen into this. I don't know what he did, but regardless... does putting down someone else make you feel any better, or make what happened in Vegas go away?

    I support the way Hadley is responding to what happened... not so much the BYU fans who seem to just attack anybody who doesn't just think anything that happens at BYU is just fine and dandy.

    I'm a BYU fan for the most part but finding it hard with all the annoying fans lately. I like to defend Utah from time to time because they are not all bad either, and some BYU fans need to acknowledge that and drop the Max Hall stereotypes, not judge others, and focus on being a fan of their team (instead of focusing all their anger and pent up emotion on the Utes).

    Not all Utah fans are Max Hall stereotypes. But some are. And some BYU fans are just as annoying.

  • Aggielove Cache county, USA
    Sept. 25, 2013 1:35 p.m.

    I'm a solid member of the church. And in college at usu I partied, hard! For years. Went to church still. Now I have a temple recommend, a smokin hot humble wife, and 4 kids. The problem isn't byu. It's the spotlight sports brings. Sports is stupid anymore. Having a few beers in college, well those things can happen. But to put this kid through the grinder nationally, is weak.

  • SMS Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 1:02 p.m.

    What bothered me about the SI story was the fact that Benedict claimed he has "no affiliation" with either school. While this may be true that he didn't attend either one for educational purposes, he clearly looks at the rivalry from a BYU perspective. We all know he's Mormon and grew up a BYU fan by his previous articles, so I found it unnecessary, especially in the position of an unbiased journalist, that he had to paint Utah fans in a bad light when he wrote "Utah fans spit on BYU players and taunted BYU fans by mocking the school's honor code."

    Is this really necessary? If you are an unbiased journalist and want to mention the intensity of the rivalry, shouldn't you balance it out by mentioning something such as the Max Hall comment or BYU fans throwing garbage at the refs after Saturday's game?

    There are unruly fans on both side, not just from Utah fans. It's unfortunate that this detracted from an otherwise well written article.

  • Balan South Jordan, Utah
    Sept. 25, 2013 12:55 p.m.

    I swore off BYU football FOREVER after losing to Utah last week - until I checked the DNews for the first time since the game and read this article.

    It is so easy to lose perspective and place way too much importance on a stupid football game. In all honesty, I should know better because I have a son (or two) that have been in Spencer's shoes. In fact, one blew his athletic scholarship (not football) with BYU because of stupid decisions. I KNOW, from personal experience, that there are more important things than winning some meaningless athletic event.

    Thanks to the author for bringing me back from the "brink" and showing me again why I love BYU and the standards they espouse.

  • Duh west jordan, ut
    Sept. 25, 2013 12:49 p.m.

    @Chris B,

    Good comments and appropriate.

    Let's not wrap all UTE Fans into this stereo type of wanting to do evil against BYU. I have plenty of Utah fan friends who just like me dislike the other side but that is a part of a rivalry. Are we supposed to love the other team? Heck no. But we can have fun at their expense and frankly, we have earned our woes. I may not go to the extremes that Chris does but like I have said before, I get more laughter out his comments than anything else and it is fun to see the tit for tat that goes on between him and BYU fans.

    Good luck Spencer and don't worry, this will not change you for the worse, it will only make you stronger. So many of us have been there and done that. It is a part of growing up for some of us and wanting to experience is a peer pressure thing that many of us don't resist like we should. Owning up to it is a greater challenge that will make you a better person.

  • Trevvor Sandy, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 12:46 p.m.

    2 bits, What party? He was at a club in Vegas. Are you familiar with what happened? Your comments don't appear to support that you are.

    And even if there were many byu fans(you used the plural word) at this "party", which it doesn't appear there were, they appear to have handled it just like the many ute fans who were partying with Blechen on a routine basis that resulted in several failed drug tests. Hypocrisy indeed.

  • EJM Herriman, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 12:40 p.m.

    Am I missing something here? Character is what you show when no one is around. He was partying in Vegas with buddies and beautiful women. He was doing something he knew went against the honor code and he did it anyway. Please don't make him out to be something he is not, either good or bad. He knew the code and violated it anyway. Not a saint, not a sinner, but he got caught.

  • morpunkt Glendora, CA
    Sept. 25, 2013 12:30 p.m.

    You nailed it. Spencer should be thankful to the one who exposed him. It will ultimately benefit him, in the grand scheme of things.
    He knew better.

  • JohnInSLC Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 12:26 p.m.

    I appreciate the insight into that situation and wish the best of luck to Hadley, a guy I'll be pulling for when he gets back on the field.

    But having been cursed at by Y fans on U-BYU game days in the past, at LES and the Marriot Center, I find it kind of interesting that Benedict goes out of his way to mention U fans taunting and spitting on BYU players at the game he attended in SLC, yet he conspicuously fails to mention BYU fans showering the officials with garbage after the game he attended last Saturday. That video also went viral.

    It seems like he's a little too interested in presenting just Y-positive spin, and not a full story.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 12:23 p.m.

    Utes home for the holidays,
    Quit whining about the Ute fan who reported it.

    The hypocrisy that's sickening is... that no BYU fans at the party thought to report it as a honor code violation. It took a Utah fan to report it (while the BYU fans just accepted it and kept quiet). Now THAT's hypocrisy.

    It's probably not best that a Utah fan reported it. But instead of criticizing him for reporting it... maybe you should be asking yourself why none of the BYU faithful reported it?

    Instead of being so bitter that it go reported.. maybe you should be more like Hadley and be happy that he is now going to be able to get the help that he needs.

    Would you have been happier if it had been covered up till the end of the season? Or never come to light?

    Holier than thou indeed.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 12:15 p.m.

    That's the beauty of it... Hadley can face up to his failings and find redemption and go back to his life. For people how hide from it, or pretend they can do no wrong... that feeling of guilt remains nagging in the back of your mind. At least he will be able to completely put it away when this is over and move on. That's the beauty of it.

  • Ragnar Danneskjold Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 12:07 p.m.

    Benedict is really trying to pump up the BYU program.
    I wish Hadley the best of luck, and I feel bad that he has to go through this, but that is what annoys me about these incidents. BYU should change policy for when this happens and let the person work through their trials alone. I really don't like the way the honor code violations are handled and so easily publicized.
    We see in these instances, people like Benedict using it as an opportunity to pump up BYU (and unfortunately try to put down Utah in this case), at the expense of the person dealing with it.

    And can we please drop the act of BYU fans pretending to hate this supposed "Utah fan" for turning him in. They are only upset that they didn't get the chance to do it themselves. Can anyone that attended BYU really act like students don't turn in other students on a regular basis?

  • U 90 Corona, CA
    Sept. 25, 2013 12:06 p.m.

    As an LDS person I'm proud of how BYU handled this situation. But some Y fans are still in denial:

    @Sports Are Great.
    "Utah fans spit on BYU players and taunted BYU fans by mocking the school's honor code" But the author is probably making this up, just like Max Hall did, right ute "fans"?

    Was the video of BYU fans throwing trash at the refs real or made up? I'm not saying Ute fans are perfect but some of you need to look in the mirror. I've been to many Utah / BYU games and have never seen Y fans being mistreated. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, but I've never seen it. Conversely, I've seen my brother in law and son mistreated by male BYU fans that were in their 30s. This is one of the reasons some of you are labeled "Holier than Thou".

  • esodije ALBUQUERQUE, NM
    Sept. 25, 2013 12:03 p.m.

    What's saddest to me is the fact that little seems to have changed, with regard to BYU football players' keeping the honor code, since I was a student there 30-plus years ago. During my last year at the Y, I roomed with a football player who often had other players over to have a few beers, chew, and watch soft porn on cable; based on their conversations, it seemed clear, as well, that they hadn't exactly lived the Law of Chastity. (Maybe I violated the letter of the honor code, too, when I didn't rat them out; however, I wasn't about to stoop that low, and I've never regretted it.) Nonetheless, none of the players in question was a returned missionary, whom one would expect to know better.

  • nosaerfoecioveht NSL, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 11:58 a.m.

    I wish the rivalry could be left out of this story.

    The truth is we don't know who sent the email. There is a lot of speculation that it was someone trying to pose as a Utah fan. We just don't know.

    Either way it was messed up on the part of whoever sent it in, and is not representative of either fan base as a whole in any way.

    Both schools handled it how they were supposed to.

  • nosaerfoecioveht NSL, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 11:55 a.m.

    Utah fan here.

    I know Hadley very well. He's a great guy and I could not be more impressed with how he's handled this situation. No matter what team you cheer for, this story is inspiring.

  • dumprake Washington, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 11:49 a.m.

    Almost 50 years ago, two zone leaders from the Florida Mission decided to drive to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. New Orleans was not that long of a drive, but it was two missions away from the one they were serving in. These two very foolish missionaries had hardly gotten out of their car in NO when their Mission President in Winter Park, Florida got a call from a priesthood leader in Louisiana telling him two of his missionaries were out of their mission. Somebody is always watching, there is no hiding, especially in today's world. Hadley was a fool to think he could get away with something--especially in Las Vegas. What happens in Vegas DOES NOT stay in Vegas, somebody always knows.

  • The Solution Las Cruces, NM
    Sept. 25, 2013 11:45 a.m.

    While the intent of the supposed "Die hard Utah Utes fan" (I'm not sold on that one either) is in question, he may have saved Spender Hadley's life (spiritually and otherwise).

    I don't think Spencer is at this point upset for being turned in. He is probably reflecting on why he did it. Higher than the BYU Honor Code is the covenants that LDS Church members make. Hadley being a returned missionary, knows he should do better.

    Now he has a real opportunity to learn, repent, and teach by example. I am sure Spencer regrets his mistake, but I'm optimistic it is for the right reasons, not so much for football implications.

    Let's continue to pray for him and support the institution that cares more for the individual than "The System."

  • Sports Are Great Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 11:30 a.m.


    Isn't it interesting what an unbiased reporter found when witnessing the game first hand? He reported what he saw. You can't fault him for not seeing what he didn't see. I'll just say I'm not the least bit surprised and what he did and didn't see.

  • UoU 1991 Park City, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 11:23 a.m.

    As a long-time Utah fan I was very disappointed to hear that a fellow Utah fan had ratted out a BYU player for what now appears to be nothing more than an Honor Code violation. The fact that he totally made up the supposed NCAA violations just so he could get Utah's compliance office to forward his pictures and bogus email to BYU is disgusting.

  • Reno Cougs Fan 68 Reno, NV
    Sept. 25, 2013 11:07 a.m.

    Chris B,
    Thanks for your comments! Congrats to the Utes for continuing the streak! This hurt worse then the Virginia loss! I think the Cougs can still right their ship and have a good season and go bowling!!! Good luck to the Utes in their quest to win the South and go to the PAC12 championship game and possible the Rose Bowl!!!

    Go Cougs!!!
    Go Utes!!!
    Go Aggies!!! except against BYU!!!

  • utefever kaysville, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 11:05 a.m.

    It is a good story but I have witnessed a BYU Fan spitting on a Utah Fan in 2012. It was disgusting and security was contacted. I find it interesting that Mr. Benedict just mentions one side of it. When BYU suspends players, they should just say it was a violation of team rules, not clarify if it is honor code or not as that is embarrassing to the player. Hadley or not, Utes still win as they were in control of the whole game.

  • BlueCoug Orem, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 11:01 a.m.

    Thanks Chris B for your honest and candid response.

  • TheBleak West Jordan, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 11:00 a.m.

    I am a Ute "fan," as several as you like to refer to us as, but I agree with you that it was pretty lame of that person to do what they did.

    Please do not throw the blame at the fan-base simply because of one idiot.

    And if Hadley can take it like a man and own up to his mistakes without throwing blame around, maybe you should not do it for him? Just an thought.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 10:43 a.m.

    This may come as a shock to most, but I seriously dislike what this Utah fan did. We have no problem beating byu on the field, no need to get involved in something that doesn't impact him at all.

    I frankly couldn't care less if byu players break parts of the honor code that are specific to BYU. If they are breaking the law that is another story, but this was a low move by this guy who took and sent the pictures.

  • Utes home for the holidays Sandy, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 10:37 a.m.

    "All the alleged NCAA violations, Hadley said, were baseless. BYU verified that by checking out so-called booster Jacob Stocking. His name appeared in no BYU athletics databases. Turns out he's a family friend of Hadley. The family said that Stocking has never attended a BYU football game, much less supported the program financially."

    So you're telling me this ute "fan" made up the booster part just as a lame excuse to send it off to byu? I'm "shocked" ute fans would stoop so low. Or have ute "fans" given themselves the title of "BYU honor code enforcers?"

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Sept. 25, 2013 10:28 a.m.

    I have heard this "holier than thou" and "self righteous" phrase hurled frequently at BYU players and students but never at anyone else. I wonder what do those phrases mean, really? Can a Ute or an Aggie or anyone else be "holier than thou" or "self righteous" or are those phrases reserved exclusively for BYU? If a Ute does something wrong or does not live up to a higher standard, what of it? No one calls him "holier than thou". But, if heaven forbid, a BYU player or student fails, then that is front page news and the insults from up North begin! My advise: consider the beam in your own eye before complaining about the mote in your brother's eye!

  • strate taukr Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 10:27 a.m.

    To rally around and support when improper action has occurred is meritorious. Caution should be used in admiration of violators when non-violators have been true to their principles.

  • DaveKnowsWhatsUp Bloomington, IN
    Sept. 25, 2013 10:26 a.m.

    As much as I want Anae gone, and as frustrated as I am with the word "execution", these are the reasons I still pull as hard as ever for BYU. It's about more than wins and losses, and it's even more than just the young men on this team. I wasn't in the room last Friday night, but if what Mr Benedict said was correct, there were dozens of people positively influenced by what Bronco has done with this team. ChrisB can insult the firesides all he wants, but one of these firesides probably pulled a young Kyle Van Noy from a self-destructive path, and who knows what else has been done.

  • Sports Are Great Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 10:26 a.m.

    From the SI article:

    "I attended my first BYU-Utah game. At the time I had no intention of mentioning the game in the book, but the extreme profanity and vile abuse I witnessed that night caught me off guard. Utah fans spit on BYU players and taunted BYU fans by mocking the school's honor code"

    But the author is probably making this up, just like Max Hall did, right ute "fans"?

  • BlueCoug Orem, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 10:18 a.m.

    Great article Jeff.

    It's sad that some fans have grown so mean and vindictive, that they would stoop to spreading outright lies about a player from an opposing team just to gain an edge in a rivalry game. I feel sorry for those who rejoice in the mistakes of others.

    Wishing Spencer success in meeting the requirements Bronco has set to return to the
    BYU football program.

  • Girlse State Midvale, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 10:14 a.m.

    Can you imagine if all schools backed up their talk like BYU did? There would be no more slaps on the wrist one game suspensions for serious illegal offenses like DUI's(as local coaches have done). Gone would be the case of coaches looking the other way as kids fail multiple drug tests before suspending them(as local coaches have done).

    Having a few cold ones in Vegas is much less serious than a DUI or doing illegal drugs.

  • Flyer St. George, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 10:03 a.m.

    Jeff Benedict has written some impressive articles recently (Kyle Van Noy), however this one takes the cake as it where. Thanks to him for these insightful stories, and his recent contributions to the Deseret News. They are inspiring! I appreciate having a perspective which the outside world does not see, and I hope we have more stories like these. Thanks Jeff!

    Sept. 25, 2013 9:54 a.m.

    Nice article, Sounds like Spencer Hadley is trying to work on some of his struggles and become better. Everyone has been there or will be there at some time or another. Best of luck to you Mr. Hadley and hope to see you back on the field later this year.

  • Utes home for the holidays Sandy, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 9:51 a.m.

    I have no problem with Hadley being held accountable if he broke the honor code. I just find the hypocrisy a little nauseating, knowing had a BYU fan tattled on a ute there would be screams of self righteousness from anyone wearing red. Hypocrites?

    And was there truly any reason to believe there was an NCAA violation? Or was that just the pathetic excuse to send the information to BYU, because even if it was against the honor code, it certainly was not illegal what he did. So why do ute "fans" suddenly feel a need to be the enforcers of BYU's honor code?

    Holier than thou indeed.