Surprising news broke tonight that Harvey Unga -- the all-time leading rushing at BYU -- is no longer enrolled at the school because of an honor code violation. BYU women basketball player Keilani Moeaki also withdrew from school due to a violation. The two were engaged a few years back, so it is safe to assume both were involved in the same action. We can safely assume the reason was that the two were engaging in pre-marital sex which is a violation of the honor code, and is believed to be the reason Unga delayed his career at BYU for a season.
Now that the formalities are out of the way time to take a look at what will happen to Harvey Unga. In retrospect -- easy for me to say -- is that Unga made the wrong choice when he decided to stay at BYU for his Senior season rather then enter the NFL draft. Currently his options are pretty limited, and Unga can almost certainly kiss his NFL chances goodbye. They were not that good in the first place since most were projecting him as a fullback.
The best option would for him to reapply to BYU through the proper channels and be back with the team. I do not know how long that takes or what it involves, but for him to have the best chance to make the NFL being at BYU is the best way. Bronco Mendenhall did have a quote regarding Unga withdrawing from BYU:
"I fully support Harvey and his decision regarding his personal situation," Mendenhall said. "The possibility of not having Harvey on the field in the fall would certainly have an impact on our team, but my main concern right now is in supporting Harvey."
That sounds as if Bronco does not expect to have him back this fall, and that means that the running game will come down to true freshman stud Joshua Quezada, J.J. DiLuigi, and Bryan Kariya. Unga was to be the leader of the team especially with a new starter coming into the fold and that most likely being true freshman Jake Heaps.
Unga is no longer eligible to take part in the NFL Draft this upcoming week, but according to Jay Drew of the Salt Lake Tribune Unga is expected to enter the NFL supplemental draft which occurs in July. His only other option would have been to transfer to a FCS school to be able to play this year since he is going to be a senior.
The supplemental draft is a tricky because not many players get taken there and it the rules are quite complex. The rules to be eligible for this draft are for underclassmen who will no longer be eligible for their upcoming season. Here are the ways the supplemental draft works:
Teams with six wins or less participate in the first lottery for the top supplemental draft picks. The team that posted the worst record among that group is given a weighted advantage over the following team, with each team's "weight" being decreased on down the line until reaching the team with the best record in the group.
The second group consists of non-playoff teams and follows the same weighted system.
The third group consists of last season's 12 playoff teams and, again, follows the same lottery system.
After the order is determined, each team submits to the league the name of the player(s) they are interested in, as well as the round of the supplemental draft they would like to choose them in. The team that submits the highest bid is awarded rights to the player. If more than one team bids a pick from the same round, the team with the highest pick in the round wins out.
If a team uses a pick in the Supplemental Draft, they must forfeit their choice in the corresponding round of the next years NFL Draft.
Not sure that makes in any clearer but as of now I believe Unga is the only player who has expressed interest in the supplemental draft. The odds of players getting chosen are slim. Being part of this also limits his chances of signing as a rookie free agent and attending rookie mini-camps that take place right after the draft.
Now, how will this affect the BYU team in 2010 without Unga. Well, if you watch the YouTube video of Joshua Quezada and have been paying attention this spring he has shown to be a potential force in the future, but 2010 was not to be the year. An inexperienced line is also an issue in the running game as well as that the new quarterback will not have as a reliable back to run the ball in tough situations.
Losing Unga could put BYU in jeopardy of not having a ten win season since Bronco took over the program in 2005, and the Cougars have real chance to fall out of the top three of the conference race as well since Air Force is looking to be a player in 2010.