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Friday, September 20, 2013

"The picture" emerges, but was it really from a Ute?

Spencer Hadley, (middle, in the light blue shirt), was suspended
 for five games because of this picture, which has been slightly
 modified to make it more family-friendly.
I'm not convinced that "Darren Lucy" is truly a "die hard Utah Utes" fan, as he claims in the first line of his email to the University of Utah.

The Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News declined to publish the picture that got BYU LB Spencer Hadley suspended for five games, the good folks over at went ahead and published it. The Trib and DNews decided not to post the picture because they could not authenticate it.

But the bigger question of authenticity for me is whether the email was truly sent by a "die hard Utah Utes fan." Before I explain why I think the asnwer to this question is "No," here is the full text of the email sent by Mr. Lucy to the Utah compliance officer:

I am a die hard Utah Utes fan and have pictures of BYU Linebacker Spencer Hadley partying frequently in Las Vegas at an MGM Nightclub and the Spearmint Rhino Strip Club. We have pictures as recent as last night of Hadley in Vegas with BYU booster Jacob Stocking. I'm sure the NCAA will be launching an investigation in regards to trips on Stockings private jet, Cash loans paid to Hadley, the use of Stockings vehicles, staying in high priced Vegas Suites, indulging in Champagne parties with Las Vegas Cocktail Waitress's. Also reports of the use of the Drug (Molly) and Alcohol use among Hadley. We . Hadley reportedly seen trying to catch a flight back this morning out of Vegas but missed his flight therefore will be missing team meetings/practice today as he is still in Las Vegas. Sad to see young athletes fail to stay on track but BYU has had this coming to them.
I can supply pictures if your interested. I plan on contacting the Salt Lake Newspaper next

So why do I say this email was not sent by a Ute?

First, the emailer--who calls himself "Darren Lucy"--wrote the first email without any mention of the BYU honor code. Clearly Mr. Lucy was hell-bent on implicating BYU in NCAA violations, and he apparently had little to no clue about BYU's anti-alcohol rules. A true Utah fan would realize that even before any NCAA violations are investigated, a BYU player being caught drinking would be quickly disciplined.

Second, the last line of the email was strange, as Mr. Lucy claimed that he would be contacting "the Salt Lake Newspaper next." Anyone familiar with the area would either say he would be contacting "the Salt Lake Tribune" or "the Salt Lake area newspapers."

Finally, if Mr. Lucy really wants to be taken seriously, why would he lead the email by declaring his "die hard" fanhood? It seems a major credibility drain to proudly state that you have a dog in the fight. And while I'm on the credibility topic, why wasn't the picture attached to the first email?

My suspicion is that Mr. Lucy is someone who was has a bone to pick with BYU or Hadley. He was probably at the party with Hadley, but didn't know that Hadley was a BYU player. When he found out, he decided to take this opportunity to stick it to Hadley or BYU. After all, as Mr. Lucy says, "BYU has it coming to them." And what better time to give it to them than during rivalry week? Claiming to be a Utah fan simply increases the drama.

At the end of the day, it doesn't really matter who sent the picture to the U and the press. It is probably authentic, as BYU has already acted upon it, so Hadley was the one who made the stupid mistake. He and the team will suffer for it. But as this story unfolds, I suspect it will be revealed that Mr. Lucy is not a "die hard Utah Utes fan," but an ex-girlfriend, shunned friend, or personal enemy to Hadley.

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