BYU suspends a player for five games due to honor code violations and who has the difficult week? The Utes.
Utah athletic director Chris Hill coined it as such, acknowledging the Utes’ involvement in Spencer Hadley’s suspension led to sharp criticism from fans on both sides.
Some perceived the forwarded e-mails that detailed possible NCAA violations by Hadley sent from Utah’s compliance office to BYU’s as meddling on the Utes’ part.
However, Hill said fans didn’t understand the sharing of such information is standard protocol between schools and welcomed.
"It has been a disappointing week for me because our compliance person was doing her job and she didn’t deserve the things that were said," Hill said. "You always let each [school] know there could be a violation so you can look into it and deal with it, and the stuff she took for it wasn’t fair."
Hill said he discussed the matter with BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe. The incident didn’t cause a divisiveness between the schools like some imagined, Hill said.
"Tom and I are good friends," he said. "There is always something during BYU week, but what was disappointing about this is it got personal with an employee who didn’t deserve it."
No future plans
While some may have thought of Saturday’s meeting as a little special since the teams aren’t meeting for another two years, Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said it didn’t matter to him.
Asked if he would have preferred the rivalry to continue uninterrupted, Whittingham said it made "zero difference," to him.
"We’ve got Michigan the next two years, so there are plenty of good things on the schedule," he said.
The Utes are heading into a bye week, but it won’t be as long of a break as usual since the Utes play UCLA on Thursday, Oct. 3.
Whittingham said he was unsure how the Utes would handle the week, but that the players would start their preparations earlier than normal during a bye week.
The Utes have the toughest stretch of the season following the bye as they host No. 13 UCLA, No. 5 Stanford, then travel to Arizona and USC.
Senior Mike Honeycutt started for the Utes for the first time this year at nickelback. … The Utes started two tight ends, Westlee Tonga and Jake Murphy, for the first time this year.
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