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More bad news for Jenkins
BYU's suspended running back gets thrown out of school
Posted: Friday December 25, 1998 11:07 AM
PROVO, Utah (AP) -- Brigham Young University has expelled sophomore running back Ronney Jenkins for his second violation of the school's Honor Code.
Jenkins allegedly committed a sexual transgression of the code, which includes prohibitions on premarital sex and the use of alcohol, tobacco or illegal drugs. Jenkins was suspended for the 1997 season for the same reason.
Jenkins ran for 1,307 yards and 13 touchdowns this season -- second best in BYU history -- and needed only 930 yards in the next two seasons to surpass Jamal Willis' school record of 2,970.
Jenkins and sophomore cornerback Heshimu Robertson already had been suspended from the Liberty Bowl, in which the 9-4 Cougars will play the undefeated and 10th-ranked Tulane Green Wave on New Year's Eve.
Jenkins was expelled Thursday.
Freshman Junior Mahe will replace Jenkins, and junior Rob Warcup will replace Robertson, who was suspended earlier this week for the spring and summer terms at BYU -- also for an alleged sexual violation of the Honor Code.
Robertson, however, is expected to be back at BYU next season.
Jenkins can transfer to another Division I-A school, but would have to sit out next season and lose a year of eligibility because of transfer rules and because he already used his redshirt season while he was suspended in 1997. He could play next season if he transfers to a Division I-AA team.
If he decides to turn pro, he has until January 7 to enter the NFL Draft. Jenkins could not be reached for comment Thursday.
Some players have suggested the Mormon church-owned school has been too hard on their teammates.
Linebacker Rob Morris and offensive tackle John Tait -- who both may turn pro and plan to make their decisions after the bowl game -- suggested the school might do more to help students like Jenkins and Robertson abide by the Honor Code rather than punish them.
Coach LaVell Edwards said, "The bottom line is those are the rules and they know that and they have to follow them, and if they don't, they have to pay the consequences."
In the past year, the school has taken disciplinary action against seven football players and three basketball players.
A recent survey of Utah County residents, published in a copyright story of the Deseret News, found that 63 percent of the respondents felt the disciplinary actions do not blemish BYU's image. Twenty-nine percent said the school's image was damaged and 7 percent were undecided.
BYU Athletic Director Rondo Fehlberg said, "The honor code is not a weakness, it's a strength.
"The honor code permeates our recruiting and everything we do," he said. "It resonates with parents and athletes who want a school where values matter."
Fehlberg said the school does everything it can to support its athletes without compromising established standards.
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