At this high point, Brandon Davies, BYU's center and third leading scorer, came forward and informed BYU that he had violated the honor code. Based on the nature of the violation, BYU dismissed him from the basketball team for the remainder of the season.
Since then, BYU's record has been 3-2 with two big losses, and it has dropped to a third seed in the tournament. His dismissal was an additional blow to a team that lost one of its starting big men earlier in the year to a season-ending knee injury.
BYU has been both praised and criticized for Davies' dismissal. Either way, BYU takes the honor code seriously. It also tries to apply the honor code in a manner that is reflective of the circumstances.
For Davies, he is still a student at BYU and is expected to play basketball next year for BYU. Although he cannot suit up for the remainder of the season, he has been on the bench in street clothes with the team and crowd supporting him.
For BYU, standards do mean something, even when the game is on the line.
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
No, I don't think that officials at BYU should sweep Brandon Davies' actions under the rug. After all, what kind of message would it send to the student body if the university ignored its own honor code whenever it became inconvenient to enforce? By suspending a star athlete, BYU is making the very strong point that moral values are more important than basketball wins. Whether a college team gains a championship trophy is far less important than imparting core ethical lessons to young people to help them navigate the often turbulent waters of adult life.
Every university has the right to determine what its social and moral standards are on campus. As long as these rules do not conflict with the civil liberties of its students, they are perfectly legitimate and must be honored. All students entering college — especially one as committed to social conservatism as Brigham Young — are fully aware of the various regulations they are subject to and are even required to sign an affidavit acknowledging this. If Mr. Davies did not feel he could uphold the school's code of honor, he should never have enrolled.
There are some elements of the BYU honor code which I myself find a bit stringent — for example, I must have my morning cup of coffee, and I am required by my religion to sanctify every Sabbath and holiday with a goblet of wine— so, therefore, I would not consider attending this university.
However, I believe the overall atmosphere of BYU is admirable and shines in stark contrast to the sometimes decadent lifestyles being practiced on many college campuses. Frankly, I don't see what is so “draconian or outdated” about asking our young men and women to be honest, respect others, not abuse drugs or alcohol, use clean language and dress and groom themselves appropriately. Is it really so bizarre to ask our young people to exhibit self-control and restraint when it comes to pre-marital sex? Certainly any responsible parent would strive to shield their teenaged child from the possible psychological and physical consequences of sexual activity before a true commitment was made.
By holding Mr. Davies accountable for his actions, BYU is sending a clear signal about its commitment to principles and values; I hope that our country's youth will take this lesson to heart and properly adjust their own lifestyles to reflect the ideals of honor and respect.
Rabbi Simcha Backman
Chabad Jewish Center
I do not see how this matter could be considered “trivial.” BYU is an academic institution, but also a religious one with standards that reflect its doctrine. While you or I may find rules against facial hair or consumption of coffee somewhat overbearing and unrelated to anything spiritual, they believe them to be part of the identity they wish to inculcate. Some of the honor code simply reflects biblical code, and with such I would be in similar agreement, as would the schools I attended as I worked through my own education. I, too, had to agree to uphold certain ethical standards to attend Biola and Fuller, and some of the rules there were also, to me, superfluous; but rules about fidelity, chastity, etc, are reasonable for any institution that champions biblical morality and should be applauded and held in high esteem.
It seems to me that the punishment should fit the crime, and consideration should be made for whether the confession was initiated by the student or as a result of an accusation.
The school is supposed to be building better Mormons, not basketball players, so assessing some penalty to the player is appropriate for the sake of all who value BYU's values. Those in charge will have to decide the extent of the punishment, but the repercussions will certainly send the message that sin is devastating and that personal integrity is a treasure to protect. “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness (Hebrews 12:11 NIV).
The Rev. Bryan Griem