Yesterday, the Brigham Young University (BYU) basketball team dismissed Brandon Davies, their leading rebounder, from the team for honor code violations. Immediately, I began to wonder what he did to deserve to be kicked off the team. Since BYU is a Mormon institution they have pretty strict rules that prohibit tea, coffee, cigarettes, dancing and anything else a college kid could consider fun so the possibilities seemed endless. It was soon discovered, that Davies had consensual sex with his girlfriend.
That’s it. He had sex. In college. With his girlfriend. Horror of horrors. If you were suspended or expelled for sex at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, where I went to school, there would have been 6 people on campus. But it wasn’t any other university, it was BYU.
At BYU having sex, even consensual sex with your girlfriend, is a violation of the old honor code. Specifically, the code says you must “live a chaste and virtuous life.” Translation, no sex! The code is not a secret it is given to every student when they enter as freshmen. They even have to sign that they acknowledge and understand it. This is really no surprise to the students. People began to suggest that BYU was being too harsh because it was after all consensual and it was his girlfriend. But that really isn’t the point at all. The point is he violated the rules. Period. If you want to have sex with your girlfriend, don’t go to BYU. There are plenty of other universities that have no issue with it at all. Hell, there are some universities that don’t care what their athletes do as long as they win, but that is another story.
In this case, I applaud BYU. They didn’t make an exception for Davies just because he’s an athlete. BYU has a chance, for the first time in its history, to land a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament. It would have been easy to overlook these transgressions and let the kid play until the season was over. But doing the right thing isn’t always doing what’s easy. What would be the point in even having an honor code if you don’t enforce it equally for every student? In a year where we saw Auburn sweep the Cam Newton mess to the side so they could compete for the championship it’s refreshing to see a school stick to its principles.
Before you start thinking those kids don’t know fun…check this out.
Yeah, I’ll stick with the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.