Dick Harmon: BYU linebacker Spencer Hadley's journey the past year provides lessons for us all

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  • BlueHusky Mission Viejo, CA
    May 14, 2014 7:06 a.m.

    All I can say is that a BYU star is under a microscope. When a transgression of the rules are revealed in a public expose, it is embarrassing for all. This expose was a low trick. In no other context would this event have been publicized by BYU. I've had boy scouts do worse (think giant booze and pot party at home with mom and dad are out of town). We did not ostracise the kids, but helped them. The instigator later went on a mission.

    I've long been critical of the Standards Office public treatment of athletes. So one good thing came out of this: privacy for the athletes instead of national headlines. When I was at Washington, a few of the football players started a bar fight and hospitalized a guy. The Seattle papers did not report the story. The culprits were unpunished. Not sure that would happen now, but at BYU they would have been expelled. I'm OK with that. A kid having a beer? Naw. Keep this private, and minor.

  • HaHaHaHa Othello, WA
    May 13, 2014 4:50 p.m.

    When Hadley was in High School, I had more then a few opportunities to cheer against him. My sons attended a rival high school and were familiar opponents. Football, basketball and track he did it all...and was a standout. There is much to admire within Spencer and his family.
    Obviously I have watched this past seasons football events with interest. I've met him and his father, watched his brother and cousins play and been very aware of who they all are. This is a non story without the football notoriety. I am pleased that Spencer has put some things together, and had a chance to grow and overcome challenges. Good luck to him in the future!

  • Uncle Rico Sandy, UT
    May 13, 2014 1:57 p.m.

    @ Kayesville Cougar

    Being compared to Chris B is probably the worst insult I could imagine.

    Not surprising, whenever you post something regarding a player on your team, yes I am a BYU fan, somebody doesn't like it.. too bad.

    BTW, I sit right behind the visiting teams bench at all our home games.

  • kaysvillecougar KAYSVILLE, UT
    May 13, 2014 1:27 p.m.

    We have a new Chris B. and it appears to be our favorite uncle. I wish Spencer all the best in his future. It's apparent that he is trying to become a better man. Not all of his challenges did he bring on himself. Hope he can continue to overcome. I hope he succeeds in the NFL, and more importantly in life.

  • RonBergundy SANDY, UT
    May 13, 2014 12:15 p.m.

    Him being hurt is not the real reason that he didn't play.

  • WA_Alum&Dad Marysville, WA
    May 13, 2014 11:32 a.m.

    @ Uncle Rico:
    "Why was the photo controversial?"

    Because the photo had been taken months prior, and then saved/released to come out just prior to the BYU/Utah game by a self-described "Huge Utah Fan," and sent not to the BYU Standards office, but to an outside organization in a very public way. That doesn't seem at all controversial to you?

    With nearly every post by nearly every Utah "fan," on a BYU article that has nothing to do with the UofU, you all reaffirm the stereotype.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    May 13, 2014 11:25 a.m.

    Hadley got held to a higher standard, as he should have been. It saddened me to see that photo, but he should have had more sense and adhered to the standards that he promised that he'd uphold. I can't say that I've never succombed to temptation, but one of the ways that I handle it is to not put myself in the spot in the first place where I would have to make the decision. I know my weaknesses and I just don't go there. It's made my life much more simple. I try not to do anything or be anywhere that will embaress me, my family, or my church. Doesn't always work but I have a lot less to worry about because I'm on constant watch.

    Now that is behind him, I'm glad that he's taken steps to do better and make himself better. It will only benefit him in the long run. I wish him a lot of luck.

  • Uncle Rico Sandy, UT
    May 13, 2014 11:06 a.m.

    @ Third Barker

    "Some on here just love to confess other people's sins! They live by a lower standard for themselves..... "

    Wow a lot of pent up emotion! I think your statement is more of a reflection on yourself and your experiences than anything written here.

    just sayin...

  • Big J Bountiful, UT
    May 13, 2014 10:39 a.m.

    I know many BYU fans love Spencer Hadley and think he is a great player. I think he benefitted by teams focusing on Van Noy. I was shocked to see him sign anywhere. Good for him. I wish him all the best.

    We all have made mistakes and have skeletons in our closets. Hadley caused his own problem by forgetting who he really was and what he stood for. It is not important how the reminder occurred but is important that it caused him to reflect on what was really important in life. He learned and grew from that hard experience.

    I remind all that Hadley violated the honor code but not the law. Others in recent history broke the honor code and the law. Certainly on the surface one is worse than the other.

    I am not a BYU fan but I am a Spencer Hadley fan. I only wish him all the best.

    Go Utes!

  • estreetshuffle Window Rock, AZ
    May 13, 2014 9:15 a.m.

    The story is about a couragous young man who admits struggling and overcoming. Now thats a real man. No self rightousness as I read in the entries here. You'll never know until walk in his shoes.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    May 13, 2014 9:00 a.m.

    @ DonO. "Holier than thou"? I have heard that derogatory phrase hurled at BYU but I do not know what it means. Can anyone associated with the U of U be "holier than thou"? How about Utah State or Notre Dame? Or can only BYU people be "holier than thou" exclusively? Sounds like jealousy or envy or perhaps even rebellion against anyone trying to achieve a higher standard to me. If someone might fail living the higher standard are the rest all "holier than thou"? Perhaps it is just an attempt for some to feel better about lower standards of personal conduct? Last I heard BYU turns way dozens of qualified applicants for everyone who is admitted. The demand is greater than the supply so apparently there are many who would happily be "holier than thou", if they only could.

  • DonO Draper, UT
    May 13, 2014 8:27 a.m.

    Good for Hadley. IMO, one positive outcome of his highly publicized suspension was BYU changing it's "holier than thou" means of trumpeting its honor code violations.

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    May 13, 2014 7:44 a.m.

    Some on here just love to confess other people's sins! They live by a lower standard for themselves but demand much more of others. They are joyous when others who are part of something special or have achieved something special in their lives stumble and fall. They are always irritated when they see someone else overcome because they themselves have never overcome anything. If they can't or won't do it, no one else should be allowed either!

  • Guam_Bomb BARRIGADA, GU
    May 12, 2014 11:57 p.m.

    I'm glad that he got picked up. He was having a great year, before he got suspended. I hope he can return to the same Hadley that we saw before his suspension. He was every bit as quick and explosive as Van Noy. If he can do that he'll be a steal for the Saints. It's unfortunate that his suspension played out in such a public way. In the grand scheme of things it was a relatively minor infraction that got blown out of proportion just because he was attending BYU.

  • Sports Are Great Salt Lake City, UT
    May 12, 2014 11:16 p.m.


    The rest of the world only knows what the mystery person said, and that was that he was a Utah "fan." We don't know for sure, but denying the likelihood would only make one look foolish. But that wouldn't be atypical for Utah "fans"

  • ImaCaMan Oceanside, CA
    May 12, 2014 10:42 p.m.

    Re: Ken "I'm a Utah fan but it was a low move by that Utah fan who did that."

    Low move by a Utah fan? Do you know something that the rest of the world doesn't?

  • Uncle Rico Provo, UT
    May 12, 2014 10:15 p.m.

    I agree with the Sandy Uncle Rico.

  • truth in all its forms henderson, NV
    May 12, 2014 10:10 p.m.

    I think its shameful that the news media just kicked him while he was down. And the other question is why Did Jamal Williams not get suspended for drinking? I feel like everyone should be held to the same standard.

  • Ken Sandy, UT
    May 12, 2014 9:23 p.m.


    I'm a Utah fan but it was a low move by that Utah fan who did that. I don't think Harmon is spinning anything - even if he says the photo was controversial you're just picking at the wording - the circumstances were very controversial.

    Taking a picture of your opponent to act like his mom and get him in trouble? Low move. Besides, Utah was going to win that game with or without him.

  • runnerguy50 Virginia Beach, Va
    May 12, 2014 8:50 p.m.

    I wish Hadley all the best in his future. I too have failed and had to brush myself off and try again. Good article.

  • Uncle Rico Sandy, UT
    May 12, 2014 8:10 p.m.

    "Then came the week of the Utah game in September. Somebody with a controversial photo of Hadley taken in Las Vegas sent the image to Utah’s NCAA compliance officer, and it was forwarded to BYU. "

    Dick, why not just say Hadley went to vegas to party and got caught? Also why was the photo controversial? Was it a black and white, or a Polaroid, or maybe it was shot with a slow shutter speed? Why not just blame Hadley, not the picture?

    I get that you admire him, as do many of us, but please don't spin the story.