PROVO — The website MormonLeaks released a video on Wednesday that it claimed is a conversation between BYU linebacker Francis Bernard and Provo Police at Bernard's residence in December.
BYU announced earlier this month that Bernard, a junior, would redshirt this season for personal reasons. His brother has said publicly that the reason was related to the university's Honor Code.
The MormonLeaks release did not tie what is portrayed in the video to any alleged action taken by the Honor Code Office at BYU, which is operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The Deseret News has learned that Bernard was convicted on charges of noise disturbance and disorderly conduct in two separate incidents that took place in 2016.
BYU athletic officials directed reporters to university spokeswoman Carri Jenkins, who declined to comment on Wednesday night.
MormonLeaks founder Ryan McKnight, a former Mormon, declined comment Wednesday but said he would discuss the video recording Thursday. MormonLeaks attempts to leak LDS Church information in an effort to force transparency on the church while shielding its own sources.
Bernard was convicted in Provo Justice Court on two cases filed within four months of each other in 2016, according to court documents. Provo police say the incidents stemmed from noise complaints by neighbors.
The first incident happened on Aug. 14. Bernard was found guilty in January of noise disturbance, a class B misdemeanor. He was fined $150 and placed on probation, according to court records.
The second incident was on Dec. 4. Bernard was charged with disorderly conduct, a class C misdemeanor. He pleaded guilty in April and the charge was reduced to an infraction. He was fined an additional $150, according to court records.
Bernard did not play in BYU’s victory over Wyoming in the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego a couple of weeks later, on Dec. 21, for undisclosed reasons.
Bernard participated in spring practices and most of fall camp.
In mid-August, BYU announced that Bernard would be redshirting for personal reasons. Days later, Bernard’s older brother, James, told The Salt Lake Tribune that Francis would seek a release from BYU in order to transfer to arch-rival Utah. James Bernard expressed his frustration over the way BYU’s Honor Code Office had handled the situation involving Francis.
BYU coach Kalani Sitake acknowledged on Aug. 21 that transferring was a possibility for Bernard but added that no decision had been made. Since then, other BYU coaches and officials have confirmed that Bernard has not made a decision.
Bernard has attended BYU practices since the announcement he would redshirt. He was on the sidelines for the Cougars’ home-opener against Portland State last Saturday. After the game, Bernard was seen signing autographs for fans.
Tad Walch, Pat Reavy, Jared Page and Dick Harmon contributed to this report.