BYU Yanks Degree From Men on a Mission Calendar Maker

Ding-dong! And that's in the metaphorical and literal sense, I suppose. A whole calendar of Mormon missionaries shirtless? Yes — though the hotness of the bell-ringing men depicted has landed its creator in some hot water with his alma mater, Brigham Young University.

Chad Hardy graduated from BYU and created the calendar called "Men on a Mission" aimed at shaking up the boring or cookie-cutter stereotype of the LDS lads. After selling more than 11,000 copies featuring the missionaries in shirtless beefcake poses, last month Hardy received a letter saying that there had been a nonacademic hold placed on his degree. He'd been excommunicated from the church, and that "If in the future you are reinstated as a member of the church in good standing, you are invited to contact my office regarding your possible eligibility for the awarding of a degree." He plans to fight the decision "tooth and nail."

Reasons for the excommunication include the calendar as well as failure to pay tithing and other religious obligations. The 2009 version is on sale now. The controversy is all well and good, but want to see the missionaries sans shirts? Then without further ado, read more.