My university’s honor code policy wasn’t terribly stringent – you couldn’t drink underage, you couldn’t deface school property, and you could be kicked out if you were caught cheating. However, Brigham Young University (BYU) has one of the strictest honor codes in the country: the university associated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (aka Mormons) bans everything from smoking to sleeveless shirts. This week, Harvey Unga (pictured at left), a star of BYU’s football team who chose to finish his senior year rather than enter the NFL draft, dropped out of school. Though he did not specify the reason publicly, he did say that he left BYU because he violated a tenet of the honor code. Considering that his girlfriend, Keilani Moeaki, dropped out on the exact same day, also citing an honor code violation, the natural conclusion has been that the two had premarital sex, which is strictly verboten.
Andy Hutchins of sportingnews.com has this to say:
On one hand, Unga and Moeaki are abiding by the rules of their school and copping to a violation of both the letter of a rule and the spirit of their religion; on the other, it’s beyond weird to think that two mature college athletes could have thrown away their scholarships for having sex within a committed relationship, considering how athletes at other schools can speak openly about how not wearing a condom is “just stupid,” and I’d love to know the full extent of this story.
Unga and Moeaki have not confirmed or denied the rumor that they had sex, so all we can do is speculate. Still, it’s pretty sad to think that being in a loving and monogamous relationship is grounds for being thrown out of school. If you remember the Real World season that took place in New Orleans, Mormon cast member Julie Stoffer was not allowed to return to and finish her studies at BYU because she violated a school rule of not living with roommates of the opposite sex. Will Unga and Moeaki ever speak out about what happened? Will Unga still have a chance at playing pro football? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.