The third-ranked BYU men’s basketball team might’ve just lost a shot at the national championship because one of their starting forwards had sex with his girlfriend.
At least, that’s one way to look at Brandon Davies’ suspension from the team.
On Tuesday, Davies, a sophomore, was suspended for the remainder of the season for violating the school’s honor code. Then, last night, the Salt Lake Tribune reported that Davies’ violation was that he had sex with his girlfriend (who is now a top Google search topic).
BYU is owned and operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Every student agrees to the strict honor code when he or she enrolls in the school. Here’s what it entails:
- 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
I don’t know one college student who could’ve adhered to all those rules. Not one. No alcohol? Good one. No sex? Well, maybe, but not by choice. No coffee or tea? Not a chance. But whether these standards are realistic or moral or ethical isn’t the issue here.
BYU head basketball coach, Dave Rose, put it best:
Everybody who comes to BYU, every student if they’re an athlete or not an athlete, they make a commitment when they come. A lot of people try to judge if this is right or wrong, but it’s a commitment they make. It’s not about right or wrong. It’s about commitment.
Yes, Davies is a college kid. And, like it or not, college kids have sex. Realistically, he’s not the only BYU athlete who’s had sex. He might not even be the only guy on his team. We don’t know. Unfortunately, for Davies, sex breaks a code at BYU. It’s a code Davies knew about and committed to when he enrolled in the school.
Sure, the standards are high—absurdly so. But at least there’s some kind of standard.
We bash schools for letting players slide, catering suspensions to the benefit of the school, and delaying punishment until the most convenient time. So doesn’t BYU deserve some credit for effectively ending any chance they had at a national championship—and all the money and exposure that comes along with it—to preserve the integrity of their code of conduct?
Davies isn’t a bad kid. He seems to be genuinely upset and remorseful. He might even still have a future at BYU and with the basketball team. The team isn’t a title contender without him. But, as much as it sucks—and it really does—he broke a rule. And, for once, a school is taking the corresponding action.
—Photo AP/Colin E. Braley