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BYU football players rush to former staff member's defense

First Published      Last Updated May 22 2014 06:36 pm

Ask anybody around the BYU football program which players that Duane Busby was closest to and three names will invariably come up: receiver Cody Hoffman, linebacker Kyle Van Noy and reserve tight end Richard Wilson.

Busby, the former director of football operations who abruptly resigned on March 24 after 18 years serving in that capacity, is the focus of an ongoing investigation at BYU regarding alleged distribution of improper benefits, as you can read in this report in today's Salt Lake Tribune.

Hoffman's manager told two Salt Lake City radio stations on Wednesday that Hoffman denies receiving any impermissible benefits from BYU. Sam Leaf said the only thing Hoffman remembers getting from Busby was a pair of socks that probably came from the equipment room.


p class="TEXT_w_Indent"> Van Noy could not be reached for comment on Thursday as he continues workouts with the Detroit Lions after that NFL club drafted him last week.

How about Wilson?

I called the oft-injured product of Spanish Fork High who recently completed his eligibility on Thursday. Basically, Wilson said the only thing he ever got from Busby was time. Busby was Wilson's go-to guy whenever he needed someone to read a paper and make some edits and/or suggestions to improve it.

"He gave me a lot of help with my schoolwork, but that's it," Wilson said, noting that he was "blown away" on Wednesday when 1280 The Zone reported that BYU was conducting an investigation into Busby's alleged generosity.

Also, Wilson says he has not been contacted by BYU in the course of its investigation. Strange, since anybody who followed the men on Twitter knows they were good friends. Hoffman has said BYU contacted him months ago, but he declined to return to Provo to answer questions.

"I definitely never saw [Busby] give anything like they are saying to anybody," Wilson said. "From time to time, maybe I heard about somebody eating a meal with him, but that was as far I saw it, so hearing people say that he was giving out money, or giving people free rent, just kind of blows my mind because I never heard that and I never saw that.

I am pretty close to the so-called offensive stars that he was supposedly helping out, and I never heard or saw that happening, never saw anything of the sort."

Wilson said he last talked to Busby at BYU's Pro Day, which was March 14. He was on campus a few weeks later and went to Busby's office in the Student Athlete Building, only to find it had been cleaned out. He tried Busby's BYU-owned cell phone number, but it had been disconnected.

Wilson said he has "no idea" who is making the allegations that Busby was involved.

"It is hard to say, because if people really knew Duane Busby, I doubt they would be saying these things, and they wouldn't be accusing him unless they had hard evidence or proof.

Duane is such a good guy. He takes care of people. He knew the answers to everything. When people had questions, everybody went to Duane.

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