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BYU player suspended for Honor Code violation due to club photo

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A Utah fan provided photo evidence of Spencer Hadley's transgression.

USA TODAY Sports

BYU starting linebacker Spencer Hadley has been suspended five games due to a violation of team rules, the school announced. Hadley's punishment reportedly comes as a result of breaking BYU's often-stringent Honor Code.

Deadspin has a photo of Hadley, apparently celebrating with a group of people at a club, a few of whom are holding placards that spell out "Spence." Hadley is in the middle of the group, holding what looks like a bottle of champagne. Alcohol is forbidden at BYU, thus the Honor Code violation.

The most interesting part of the story: BYU became aware of the photo because a fan of the University of Utah, the Cougars' chief rival, emailed it to the school. Though, there is some doubt about whether the tipster is actually a Utah fan.

Darren Lucy, who contacted the Utes' compliance department, described himself as a "die hard Utah Utes fan." But some information provided to SB Nation by another anonymous Utah fan brings up questions about Lucy's fandom. On Monday -- four days before Hadley's was suspended -- a commenter on a popular BYU message board with the handle "dlucy44," an apparent BYU fan, posted details of the linebacker's behavior. The post was deleted, but a screen shot is available here.

The Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News filed freedom of information requests to gain access to the email chain between Lucy, Utah assistant AD for compliance Katie Charipar, and BYU director of compliance Chad Gwilliam. Lucy provided the photo of Spencer partying at the club to Charipar, who then forwarded it on to Gwilliam. After BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall was made aware of the situation, he suspended Hadley for the Honor Code violation.

BYU and Utah resume their rivalry at the Cougars' LaVell Edwards Stadium Saturday night at 10:15 p.m. ET.

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