Wednesday, March 2, 2011

BYU Puts Honor Code Over Potential Final Four Appearance

As most of our bloggers are BYU graduates we often comment on times when BYU makes the news here, and if you follow college basketball at all you know that BYU is having possibly its best season ever in men's basketball.  The team is ranked #3 in the country, their point guard Jimmer Ferdette is the leading candidate for national player of the year honors, and the team is likely to get a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament later this month.

The big story to me, however, isn't the success on the court but rather the commitment to the schools very rigorous honor code.  From the Salt Lake Tribune:
Three days after recording the biggest regular-season win in program history, a win over San Diego State that propelled the BYU basketball team to a No. 3 national ranking and into serious consideration for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, the Cougars’ postseason hopes were dealt a devastating blow. Starting center Brandon Davies was dismissed from the team on Tuesday because he ran afoul of the school’s strict honor code. BYU announced in a terse news release that Davies, a 6-foot-9 sophomore from Provo High, “will not represent the university on the men’s basketball team throughout the remainder of the 2010-11 season” because of a “violation of the BYU Honor Code.”
Among other things, the code forbids premarital sex, the use of alcohol and illegal drugs, and cheating on schoolwork.
So let's get one thing straight:  the honor code is strict but not draconian.  Davies did not get booted from the basketball team for sipping a coffee, swearing, or growing a beard.  BYU never reveals details about honor code issues to the public, so unless Davies talks we'll never know what he did.

The amazing thing to me is that BYU is actually getting a lot of respect in some media outlets for their actions.  For example, here is a clip from ESPN singing BYU's praises:

BYU put their standards before fame and fortune, and I applaud them for it.


  1. Nick, though I am very sad to see such a good player dropped from the team, I am proud to know that the team that is going into March Madness is one that represents the high standards of BYU at every level. I'm always amazed at how well BYU athletics can do on the court with players that are willing to live these high standards.

    I guess this is yet another reason why BYU graduates are so highly desired in the real world. Though BYU graduates are by no means perfect, if you hire one, the odds are they are fairly honorable in a stricter-than-normal sense.

    Interesting video by ESPN.

  2. Great post Nick! I also applaud BYU for standing up for their standards. I think that the commentator Chris Broussard said it best when he said "There are certain things more important than a game. We're trying to teach you how to be a man." Great decision. Great commentary. Great post.

  3. Watching the game last night was like getting punched in the gut. In slow motion. But in a good way. I guess.

  4. raedyohed,

    I agree. I didn't get it on my TV but I was following on ESPN's Gamecast and it appeared pretty bad.

    Oh well. Here's to March Madness!

  5. Lots of websites stating it was pre-marital sex.

    Don't know how reliable they are though.

  6. Yeah, it appears to have been premarital sex.

    Mostly I'm really sad that Davies chose to disqualify himself by not adhering to the code he committed to. That's the most frustrating part.

    I also think it is honorable that BYU sticks to its guns. SI, in the March 7, 2011 features NCAA football teams having large numbers of players who've had trouble with the law. SI is commenting what a disgrace it is to college football, and is really calling on Universities to do better. I think when BYU sticks to its guns like this it sets a great example for other colleges and universities.

    We obviously consider athletics to be of supreme importance, even at BYU. But when push comes to shove we value honorable behavior more than championships. I think that's commendable!


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