BYU running back Harvey Unga and BYU basketball player Keilani Moeaki announed that they were withdrawing from the school effective immediately. The move sent shockwaves through the community.
The biggest news prior to a huge weekend in spring ball for the Big 5 schools came down the wire this evening when BYU running back Harvey Unga announced that he--along with basketball player Keilani Moeaki, a person with whom he was once engaged--is leaving BYU.
The decision has literally floored many in the community, because Unga--who was a first-team All Mountain West Conference selection last year and All-America candidate--is BYU’s all-time leading rusher and was poised for a huge senior season.
The school submitted a press release stating that the reason was for an “honor code violation,” but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that Unga--who earlier turned down an opportunity to turn pro early and return to BYU--and Moeaki may be back on after they were on-again, off-again in their relationship, according to several reports.
With both Unga’s and Moeaki’s coaches citing “personal matters,” it seems only obvious that the real reason Unga and Moeaki left was because they had premarital relations while at the school, an Honor Code violation. Only time will tell whether or not it is more than that.
“I fully support Harvey and his decision regarding his personal situation,” BYU football coach Bronco Mendenhall said. “The possibility of not having Harvey on the field in the fall would certainly have an impact on our team, but my main concern right now is in supporting Harvey.”
BYU women’s basketball coach Jeff Judkins also weighed in on the issue. Moeaki, a 6-foot-2 senior forward for the Cougars, averaged over four points and two rebounds per contest, helping lead her team to the WNIT quarterfinals.
“Keilani has been a valuable contributor to our team the past three years,” BYU women’s basketball coach Jeff Judkins said. “She has my support while she takes time to address some important personal matters.”
Although nobody really knows the reason why Unga is leaving the school--and it may be too early to speculate on the matter--BYU fans and football fans in general will be glued to their radios and TV sets, their Twitter feeds and Facebook pages waiting for an answer that will eventually come out.
The other rumor floating somewhat heavily around cyberspace is that Unga has already spoken to Weber State and head coach Ron McBride about transferring to the program.
Should Unga transfer to Weber State, a school in the FCS, he would still retain his senior year of eligibility and be allowed--per NCAA rules--to play immediately.
Should the transfer take place, Weber State would position itself well in the next season as a legitimate FCS championship contender.
The other option for Unga is to enter the NFL as a free agent. It is also unlikely that Unga would find himself drafted next week, although it is possible that he would be considered for a late-round choice. Unga leaves BYU with 3,455 yards rushing and a legacy that may never be topped.