How leaving BYU will be good for star football player Unga and the school

by | May 20, 2010

Saints & Sports

The story of Harvey Unga took a final tortured twist Wednesday, when reports confirmed the BYU running back won't be returning.

That's a good thing for him and for BYU — and I don't say that in a snide way.

Unga, as well as Cougar basketball player Keilani Moeaki, left school voluntarily in April, after admitting to violating the honor code. Had he been allowed to return for the football season, it would have been a very public and taxing process. He can now move on.

Meanwhile, Unga's departure actually helps BYU image-wise, which at first may sound strange, but it's true. Under certain stipulations, there was a chance he could have returned for the 2010 season. But for a school that proudly stands by its honor code, Unga's return would have looked bad, no matter what reparations he took. The perception would have been that BYU was soft on the star athlete.

It's not an image BYU can afford to project.

In another era, under another coach, the Unga story wouldn't have been so big. Subsequent reports revealed Moeaki and he had dated and that at one point been engaged. Nobody has been specific about the details of Unga's departure. But one thing is clear: What passes for normal at most schools can be a major violation at BYU.

Read the rest of this story at deseretnews.com
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