One minute you find out that you have just been tabbed as the third best team in the nation and 12 hours later you announced that your second best player has been dismissed from the team for violating the school’s Honor Code. The first thing that came to most people’s mind, upon hearing the news that Brigham Young University(BYU)’s power forward Brandon Davies would miss the rest of the season do to breaking some school code, was that he committed some criminal act. But when we found out that he was suspended because he admitted to school officials that he and his girlfriend engaged in “sexual relations”, all hell broke loose.
Now this is an act that would not have gotten nearly 95% (and I’m being conservative) of all undergrads in trouble on most of the campuses throughout this great land of ours. Yes on most campuses throughout this land, it is business as usual. But this took place at Brigham Young where it is well known that such activities are not tolerated and all students, including athletes, are made well aware of this during their college selection process.
BYU has some of the more stringent rules or honor codes that exist in the world of academia. It is no wonder that they have a difficult time recruiting high profile athletes. In addition to no sexual relations outside of marriage, BYU students are not allowed to drink coffee or alcohol and aren’t allowed to have long hair or mustaches. These activities are not frowned upon, they are forbidden.
Every student that matriculates at BYU knows this and is expected to adhere to this rule as well as the other strict decrees that you will find in their honor code. Now one might say that these rules are crazy, but if a student thinks that he or she might not be able to abide by them, then perhaps BYU aint the school for you!
It is a private school founded by the Church of Later Day Saints. Their rules are not as relaxed as those found in most institutions of higher learning. To be honest with you I’m impressed with the fact that the school has been as competitive as it has been over the years. They are consistently on top of the Mountain West Conference in both football and basketball. They have represented themselves well in the NCAA tournament as well as the football Bowl Championship Series. And, look at the number of pros they have turned out over the past 30 years. That list includes former NFL quarterbacks Steve Young and Jim McMahon, and former NBA star Danny Ainge. I find it hard to believe my man McMahon made it through his four years there without a beer or left as a virgin. Now the questions I have are how many students abide by these rules and does the penalty fit the crime.
The answer to the latter is, at BYU, yes. As far as the rest of the free world, no. Forget the potential #1 seed the basketball team may be forfeiting as a result of this decision. This institution has its standards and they are going to maintain them regardless of who breaks them. In a sense I applaud the school for their fortitude and sticking by their guns. On the other hand, I just wonder if it had been leading scorer Jimmer Fredette, who has become the NCAA poster child this season, would this issue have even surfaced. There are some who feel that there is a racial aspect to this because the length of the suspension. Several BYU professional athletes have hit the airwaves in abundance over the past 48 hours and have indicated that this is not the case here. They have made it known that several of the ex teammates have been found guilty of being in noncompliance of the code of honor and have met similar fates. I just do not remember hearing of such a high profile case in recent memory.
I am also curious about the circumstances that led to school officials finding out about this situation. Did Davies post something incriminating on Facebook? Did someone “drop a dime” on him? I’m sure that he did not just break down and confess to this unsolicited. Something is rotten in Provo, Utah, and eventually it will come out in the wash.
Far be it for me to criticize any institution for their rules. My freshman year at Morehouse, a student got tossed for participating in a panty raid at Spelman College. I thought that was harsh. I’m sure that panty raids were not mentioned in our rule book, but the sentence was handed down nevertheless. Each school, especially private institutions, have the right to make and enforce their rules as they see fit. It is not up to you and me to question them. I just question the circumstances.