Archive for Friday, March 4, 2011

BYU hoops deserves kudos

March 4, 2011


— They are charged with assault on a Tuesday, and play linebacker on a Saturday. They are caught smoking dope in the morning, and practice free throws in the afternoon.

Today’s college playing fields are dotted with athletes bearing fresh mug shots, lingering handcuff marks and not a trace of accountability.

Athletes are often punished only to the degree at which the team will not feel pain. If the game is important, they are suspended only for the first half. If there is even a hint of the word “allegedly,” the school abdicates its moral authority to the legal system and doesn’t suspend them at all.

All of which would classify what happened with the Brigham Young basketball team as one shining moment.

This week, the highly-ranked Cougars probably cost themselves riches, glory and a legitimate chance at their first national basketball championship after suspending one of their best players, Brandon Davies, for the rest of the season for violating the school’s honor code.

The infraction? Davies had premarital sex.

The rule? A section of the honor code that requires BYU students to “live a chaste and virtuous life.”

That might not be your rule. That might be the kind of rule that makes you titter and wince and wonder, how can any school not attached to a seminary demand celibacy of college kids in a world in which seven out of 10 Americans have had sexual intercourse by age 19?

But the point is, it is BYU’s rule, and kudos to the school for publicly enforcing it at the worst possible time with one of the most visible of students while risking damage to the school’s athletic reputation and national stature.

BYU knows this will hurt immediately, Davies’ suspension robbing the team of its leading rebounder and third-leading scorer, probably dashing all chances of ending their NCAA record of tournament futility — 25 appearances and zero Final Fours. BYU knows this will hurt in the future, costing potential athletic and academic recruits who may now be wondering: How can I spend four years at a place that really gives suspensions for sex?

BYU suspended the kid anyway, and if you don’t believe in its code, you have to love its honor.

Before the suspension, the Cougars were the third-ranked team in the country with the No. 1 RPI rating and were 27-2.

In the first game after the suspension Wednesday, they were hammered, 82-64, by unranked New Mexico while being outrebounded, 45-29. The game ended with their star Jimmer Fredette, one of the nation’s best shooters and a potential tournament darling, sitting alone on the bench with his head in his hands.

“I think a lot of people try to judge this, whether this is right or this is wrong ... that’s not the issue,” coach Dave Rose said. “It is a commitment that you make. And everybody makes the commitment.”

The commitment is the signing of an honor code that also includes honesty and clean language, and abstinence from drugs, alcohol, coffee and tea. But nothing is apparently as difficult for hormone-driven college kids as the “chaste and virtuous life” clause, which includes no sexual relationships outside marriage.

Perhaps as amazing as BYU officials enforcing the code now is the fact that they didn’t actually catch Davies breaking it. Either Davies or his girlfriend turned themselves in, and Davies later admitted his transgression not only to school officials, but also to his teammates.

The conviction to enforce the rules on your powerhouse basketball team at the outset of this country’s premier basketball spectacle? That could be the only thing about this March that isn’t madness.


BABBOY 7 years, 2 months ago

Oh BS.

It is stupid rule and I hope they lose the rest of their games for being stupid.

Cheap attempt by nobody writer to draw attention to himself.

I hope the kid transfer somewhere and they beat the crap of BYU. BYU, what a flipping joke.

Kid's only mistake was going to such a lame school.....

number1jayhawker 7 years, 2 months ago

Why the hatred towards Mormons? I'm not one, but that doesn't make me hate their school or lifestyle.

fearsadness14 7 years, 2 months ago

Plaschke isn't a nobody writer, he appears nationally on ESPN every day, and works for the LA times. I assure you it isn't easy to accomplish either of those feats.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 7 years, 2 months ago

This is not a hatred of Mormons, just a sorrowful emotion that there this "religious" sect should feel that there is really some sort of divine power that will shower them with more money and grace with these stupid and very human "codes of honor" which are generated by imagined religious fervor and desired control over everyone everywhere at all times. It is this Islalmic-style doctrine that makes them targets of dispair from the rest of us, and truly disgusted that they create and fabricate so-called "honor codes" to justify their religious jihad against anyone who disagrees with them. This is all very disheartening to normal people who view their stupid actions as hurtful and damaging to their own kind.

jessanddaron 7 years, 2 months ago

Plaschke is not a "nobody writer". He's on ESPN And his work is printed in the LA Times...?

Fred Whitehead Jr. 7 years, 2 months ago

“I think a lot of people try to judge this, whether this is right or this is wrong ... that’s not the issue,” coach Dave Rose said. “It is a commitment that you make. And everybody makes the commitment.”

"Right or Wrong is not the issue"............"Not the issue"??........Really!.

That is what the Nazis said when they forced all German citizens to take a vow of allegence to Adolf Hitler.

thomgreen 7 years, 2 months ago

ksfbcoach, I think you need to revise that chain of thought. I am a proud liberal and I completely agree with this article. The kid new exactly what he was getting into when he went to the school, he signed on with full knowledge. He was given a standard to live up to, he failed to do that, AND he self reported himself. He knew the consequences and still admitted his mistake. Kudos to both the school and to the kid for doing what was right.

BigAl 7 years, 2 months ago

ksfbcoach. I am a registered Democrat. I am also a Vietnam vet. I highly doubt you would say to my face that I have no honor, no virtue and no integrity. So many of you loud mouthed right-wing wack-nuts never served a day. I am betting you are another one. Just like Hannity, O'Reilly, Limbaugh and Cheney.

If you can't tell, it irritates me to no end when people generalize like that.

Judgesmails 7 years, 2 months ago

BYU - sounds like a real blast !

i bet Jimmer is getting some but you wont see him suspended!!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 2 months ago

Like everything, it's only illegal if you get caught.

Tufee 7 years, 2 months ago

Okay I went to BYU 30 years ago. I am not a Mormon. The Honor Code is the same now. We felt like it was from the 50's then. I thought it was just another strict religion that limited certain things. Most Mormons want to get married and start a family ASAP. They are not supposed to have pre-marital sex, but stress it more than other religions, ie Catholics, Baptists, etc.

it is preferred to marry another Mormon,or to convert a non Mormon before marraige. They can't get married in the Temple if they are not both Mormon, this is a big deal, then your souls can be together forever it is believed.

We had several guys on the team already married, and one guy, a non Mormon, but not me, that fathered a kid with a student, he didn't get kicked out because she was from another country and went home to have the baby and the school never found out. But he was worried about it for his 2 years at the school.

I didn't know about the honor code when they were recruiting me. I had to sign it after I had signed with them and accepted an athletic scholarship. It also includes not drinking alchohol, caffiene or any illegal drugs, and keeping your hair cut similar to the military grooming standards. Back then the women were not permitted to wear a 2 piece bathing suit, and no women, not even your mothers were permitted in the mens dorms.

Pretty strict but everyone did what they wanted to do, just discreetly.

The suspended athlete may have been exposed, or his girlfriend wanted to clear her conscience and he didn't have a choice but to self report and take the consequences. If he denied it and was proven to have lied he would have been further shunned and kicked out of school for good.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 2 months ago

"I didn't know about the honor code when they were recruiting me. I had to sign it after I had signed with them and accepted an athletic scholarship."

This makes them essentially frauds, and likely in violation of their own code. I wonder if they still do this.

Brent Garner 7 years, 2 months ago

Tufee is being dishonest or not recalling correctly. The Honor Code is discussed numerous times. One would have to be blind and deaf not to be aware of the provisions. As for those trashing Mormons and BYU for the rule, do keep in mind this is a PRIVATE university funded by a religion, a religion that holds certain beliefs very strongly. This young man, as I understand it, is also a member of that religion and so knew full well before hand what the situation is. So, 1) it is good that he came forward and admitted his error, 2) BYU is acting completely appropriately within the rules established, 3) you leftist/liberal/secularists may think the conservative morals of Mormons are something to snicker at , but all you do is expose your own bigotry and close mindedness.

jonas_opines 7 years, 2 months ago

I wouldn't last a week at BYU, and of course would never have gone to a school with such an honor code. I think it's backwards and pointless.

But it's their rules, for their university, and it's pretty clear that everybody that goes there is highly aware of it. They have standards, and now we know that they stick to them.

Tufee 7 years, 2 months ago

Brent, Thanks for calling me Dishonest or Senile. Really appreciate that. Truth is I knew the School was conservative and drugs and alcohol was forbidden. That didn't bother me as I am a conservative Christian person. I was never told that I would have to sign a honor code or go in front of an Honor Board. They made me cut my hair 3 times before it was short enough to be Accepted. You have to be approved by the Honor Board before each semester.

But the way you strike out in your comments to someone that tells the truth, reminds me of how I was treated and my religious views were criticized when it became apparent over time that I was not going to convert to Mormonism. I was encouraged to leave after 2 years by the Head Coach and the Athletic Director. As a Co Captain of the team I was told that my scholarship was not being renewed. That is the Truth. I had many friends there, they would tell you how unfairly I was treated. Thats all history I just came back to Kansas.

7texdude 7 years, 2 months ago

This is not the first time this has happened. Last year, the Cougars kicked their starting running back off the team for doing the same thing. It is the Honor Code. If you don't like it, don't go there. It is a private school with this strict policy. There are other schools you can attend - in Utah or somewhere else..

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