BYU Running Back Harvey Unga Withdraws from School

David LynnCorrespondent IApril 17, 2010

PROVO, UT. - SEPTEMBER 19:  Harvey Unga #45 of the Brigham Young Cougars runs against the Florida State Seminoles at La Vell Edwards Stadium on September 19, 2009 in Provo, Utah.  (Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/Getty Images)
Melissa Majchrzak/Getty Images

The BYU athletic department released a statement saying that Harvey Unga and his girlfriend both withdrew from school for reasons related to a violation of the Honor Code.

They did not specify what the violation was, and I will not begin to do so either.

It is often hard to understand why a player of Unga’s caliber would do something to ruin a very successful college career.  It is also very easy to sit on the outside and criticize him for what he’s done and how his actions will ultimately affect the team.

When I first saw the headline I was hoping that maybe they had decided to celebrate April Fool’s Day a little late, but no such luck.

Having sat here and thought about it for a few minutes I am not nearly as distraught as I thought I would be.  Sure, I am disappointed that it looks like we won’t have him back in the fall, but when push comes to shove you have to do what is best for you and your future.

Not knowing exactly what happened it is hard to know how to really react, but in the end I really just hope it all works out okay for Harvey, because he has been a tremendous asset to this team for a long time.

In terms of how this affects the team it is a big deal but I would not say that it is catastrophic.

It would have been nice to have his steadying influence with a new quarterback coming in, but that does not appear to be what will happen.

You would be stupid to think that the team is better off without Harvey, and I won’t even begin to consider that. 

We would be a better team with him, but I think we will be okay without him.

J.J. Di Luigi has shown that he can be an effective back in the past, and I am sure he will continue to be effective in the future.  He is obviously not at the same level as Unga, but few backs are.

We also have some experience in Bryan Kariya and Mike Hague, and while neither has shown long periods of brilliance, every bit of experience can help.

What may be the greatest comfort to the saddened BYU fan is the emergence of Joshua Quezada during the spring practices.

Nearly every day he was being praised by coaches and reporters alike for his natural abilities, and his explosiveness as a runner.  I am well aware of the fact that spring practice is not the same as a real game, but you have to start somewhere.

Remember, Unga was not well-known coming out of high school, and he turned into quite the dominant back. 

The loss of Unga really sucks, and we are all hoping that he will find a way back for the fall after he resolves his issues, but even if he doesn’t, I think we will be okay.