Brandon Davies is no longer a member of the Brigham Young University basketball team as of Monday, university officials said. His removal is attributable to a violation of the school’s honor code – reportedly, his admission to having pre-marital sex with his girlfriend according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
The BYU Honor Code Statement includes exhortations for students, such as Be honest, Live a chaste and virtuous life, Obey the law and all campus policies, Use clean language, Respect others, Abstain from alcoholic beverages, tobacco, tea, coffee, and substance abuse, Participate regularly in church services, Observe the Dress and, Grooming Standards, Encourage others in their commitment to comply with the Honor Code.
While these rules may seem a bit far-fetched to those outside of the BYU community, the fact of the matter is that these are religious rules, based on the Mormon religion. The administration at BYU should be admired and applauded for sticking to this code despite the fact that it might be contrary to popular opinion.
Davies should have been, and likely was, well-informed of the honor code when he signed his letter of intent to BYU. And, regardless of the criminality of his offense, he really has no one to blame but himself.
The university had the guts to make this decision, despite the effect it might have on their bid for a national title in men’s basketball.
Davies, at the time he was dismissed from the team, was the third leading scorer behind player-of-the-year candidate Jimmer Fredette. He also was the leading rebounder for the No. 3 Cougars and the only real dominant size on a team composed primarily of smaller players.
BYU now will have to face the challenge of the NCAA tournament without one of its best players – a move that could mean losing national exposure and thousands, if not millions, of dollars in revenue for making a deep run.
Despite all of these compelling reasons to overlook what some consider a minor indiscretion, the administration did not compromise its principles, which is more than can be said for some of the other college athletic programs in the country.
Even though the rules may seem a bit overzealous, we need more college programs in this country – and in sports, in general – to follow the example set forth by BYU: We must hold players and others associated with athletics responsible for their actions.