July has been a busy, but good, time for former BYU footbal standout Harvey Unga. On July 4th his first child was born. He is getting married today (the 16th) to Keilani Moeak. And yesterday he was selected by the Chicago Bears in the seventh round of the NFL supplemental draft.
I see this as a win-win. BYU won by sticking to their guns and enforcing the honor code when his fiance became pregnant and it became obvious that they had had premarital sex. It’s easy to enforce the code in the case of some no-name freshman, but Harvey was a football star and in some ways the face of the program. Holding to the honor code showed that the school was serious about it, and had moved on from the embarrassingly laissez-faire approach a few years ago. When this happened, BYU got a lot of positive press around the country for sticking to its guns.
But I think Harvey walks away from this a winner as well. First, it should be obvious that no one outside of BYU cares that he had premarital sex, so even though he was dismissed for an honor code violation, it’s not something he has to feel ashamed about. He can hold his head high. And he has been a class act through this. He could have fought the dismissal, but he acknowledged that he violated the code and took his medicine like a man.
In the Mormon context, sure, having premarital sex with your fiance is not something you’re supposed to do, obviously. But that is not something I personally hold against him at all. Although that didn’t happen to me, I remember the four months I was engaged as extremely trying in that regard, and it would have been very easy for that to have happened. Harvey acknowledges that he is human, and I acknowledge that I am as well. My feeling is that there but for the grace of God go I.
I like that Harvey hasn’t tried to be coy about the situation, but has frankly acknowledged it. As far as I can see he has handled himself with consummate class. I hope that he remains engaged with the Church (I would be interested if any of our commenters have any information on that score.)
Since his wife is from here, her parents are excited that, for the time being, at least, they are going to be moving to Chicago, as that will mean time with their daughter and new grandchild.
From a selfish perspective, I kind of like it when we have Mormons on the Bears roster, such as the now retired John Tait or the current safety Al Afalava. They’re already my team and I root for them regardless, but having some brothers on the squad just intensifies my rooting interest all the more.
So welcome to Chicago, Brother Unga. I’m glad you’re coming. And congratulations on your recent run of good things happening in your life. Now here’s hoping you can actually win an opening day roster spot.