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Provo • 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.
One thing BYU defensive coaches and players learned after watching film of the Utes' first three games is that Utah sophomore quarterback Travis Wilson is incredibly mobile for an athlete of his size. Wilson rushed for 142 yards against Oregon State, the most by a Ute quarterback since Floyd Hodge had 179 against Wyoming in 1979.
"Don't let him do that. That's our plan," Cougars secondary coach Nick Howell said. "We are not going to let him do that. We are not going to let him out. If we let him out, somebody is wrong."
Howell said Wilson broke off long runs against the Beavers because OSU let Utah have the numbers advantage on the boundary side.
"We are going to line up right and have enough people where he is, and we should be OK," Howell said.
In the chaos that ensued after Star Lotulelei blocked Justin Sorensen's field-goal attempt last year, BYU special teams ace JD Falslev kept his head as Utah's crowd stormed the field, thinking the game was over. Falslev grabbed the loose ball and essentially earned the Cougars another shot when officials penalized Utah's crowd.
"I just did my job," he said. "We have had a couple guest speakers come in, some guys that are American heroes. The simple fact is that they were doing their job. I knew that if I continue to fight until the whistle blew, it might give us another chance. It just so happened that it did."
Sorensen's four field goals against Texas were the most in one game for BYU since 2000. … The Cougars have allowed just seven rushing touchdowns over the past 15 games, ranking third in the nation in fewest allowed. Michigan State and Notre Dame are the only schools that have allowed fewer rushing TDs since the start of the 2012 season.
Utah at BYU, 8:15 p.m.
TV • ESPN2