Thursday, March 3, 2011

Honor, Basketball and BYU

I just can't keep my mouth shut anymore. For those of you who could care less about sports or don't know what is happening in the sports world currently, please keep reading as this post is about so much more than a game, it is about life.

I am a BYU Alumni. And yes I also belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints-I am a Mormon. BYU has an outstanding basketball team this year-maybe you have heard the name Jimmer floating around- and they were quickly on their way to being a #1 seed for the NCAA tournament. And then something very unfortunate happened. I will post a facebook status of someone I went to high school with to let you know what happened.
"#3 ranked BYU has suspended Brandon Davies (their leading rebounder and 3rd leading scorer) for the rest of the season for having premarital sex. GOOD! who knows what else that sicko was up to. he was probably drinking Starbucks before morning shoot-arounds too!"

Now, I know as a Mormon we have a lot of beliefs that others may think are funny or weird or even just plain wrong, but this post is not about if Mormon beliefs are correct or not, it is about honor.

One of the requirements to attend BYU includes agreeing to live by a code of conduct called the honor code. This code includes things such as grooming standards, being honest, being chaste, etc. (Feel free to read the whole code by clicking here) If you do not want to live by the rules of this honor code then you don't have to attend BYU, it is as simple as that. But many do attend and are willing to abide this code. BYU has over 30,000 students and was ranked the number one most popular school in the nation because 78 percent of students who are accepted chose to attend, the highest percentage of any university.

My point is-if you are attending BYU you know what you are getting into and agreeing to.

This last week Brandon Davies was suspended for breaking the honor code. Needless to say this has hit the newswaves with a vengeance. And many people are making comments just like the one I read on Facebook. And how did people respond to that facebook status? "Those crazy Mormons" "He told on himself that is the best part" "What a joke!"

And this is how I responded:
"Whether you agree with BYU's honor code or not; it is just that a code of honor. It is something that anyone that attends BYU knows and has to sign saying they will follow to attend the university. And in today's society of corruption, bribes and whatever else to make it to the top it is good that there are institutions that have values and enforce and honor them. Think just how much better this world would be if people actually had honor and integrity and followed through with their word."

In today's society, whether in sports, in politics or in business there are so many that are doing whatever it takes to make it to the top. Bribery, lying, cheating, has lead to companies collapsing, people losing jobs, and colleges possibly having to give back winning titles.

To those who are calling it a joke and laughing that he told on himself, I would like you to think what this world would be like if people would live with honor and follow through with what they agreed to do and promised to do. For one thing, a lot of scam attorneys would be out of business. But in all seriousness, I would love to live in a society with people who had standards, integrity and followed through with their word.

Today I am proud to say I am a BYU Alumni. A school that said their honor and their word is so important that they will follow through even if it means greatly hurting the chances of the winning the NCAA tournament.


  1. I think that those that go to BYU and abide by the honor code are doing a great thing, if that is for them. I think BYU does a lot of good for people and both my Aunt and Uncle are noteworthy Professors there.

    But BYU is not for everyone. Not even active LDS people like myself. I could have gone there, (I had the grades and the money) but I wanted to experience different viewpoints and opinions than what BYU offered. And I wanted to have facial hair back then.

    I guess my only problem with people that go to BYU are the ones that think they are somehow better than those that don't go to BYU but live by the same standards. I know you are not like this, but I have met several that do feel that way. They can not comprehend why anyone that is LDS and worthy would not WANT to go to BYU.

    I feel badly for Davies. But he signed his name on that honor code and as such, he must live with his mistake. I'd welcome him with open arms 30 miles north.

  2. I thought that it wasn't released what he had done to break the honor code. And I don't think speculating has any point. We listened to the locker room show after the game yesterday and Dave Rose said that Davies heart is in the right place and that he is sorry for what happened. I respect Davies for admitting he did something wrong. And even though it is disappointing that our chances are less, I'm proud to say I'm a BYU Alum too. Go Cougars!

  3. I guess with Todd being out of town this week, I totally missed this. I love BYU though, and that's all I have to say!

  4. I haven't kept up on it much, but if that's what happened then I'm with you Emily.
    He did sign that piece of paper. NO one forced him to.

    He's a big boy.
    These are called consequences.

  5. Basketball is church doctrine, isn't it? Isn't that why we have courts in all our buildings?

    Seriously, I'm proud too. And we're headed to the game Saturday. We'll see what the students do.

  6. Thank you for posting this. It is such a sad, sad situation. I applaud both Davies for owning up to his violation of the code, and to BYU for sticking with their standards. A non-criminal violation of the honor code would have almost certainly been swept under the rug at any other University,in order to keep the sporting program in the top ranked teams.

  7. Well said. How would it look if they didn't hold him to that honor code?! It sucks for him that it's all so public!

  8. I personally don't necessarily agree with everything contained in the honor code (despite the fact that I attended BYU-Hawaii and BYU). However, I think that once we sign on the dotted line, despite what we may or may not think, we are agreeing to live a certain way and should be held accountable for it.

  9. Great post. It is an unfortunate decision.

  10. I agree with what you have said we need more people who honnor what they said they would do or be held accountable.

  11. It may not make complete sense to me, not being LDS, but I agree with the honor and integrity part of your post. Great job conveying your point of view!

  12. I really must live in my own little world, because until yesterday I had no idea. That being said, I will liken the honor code to the military code. When you join, no matter which branch you sign a document that says you will act a certain way. You can and (will be) discharged for misconduct. And yet, no one would question that or make jokes. This is no different. He signed a legal document. He broke the rules. End of story.

  13. I didn't know about the story, I hadn't read it but had heard bits and pieces. I think it's actually nice that he ratted himself out. That's honorable.
    The code of conduct for BYU seems almost unreachable in this society, but kudos to them for not wavering.
    Do you think other BYU students do that stuff but just don't get caught?

  14. I agree, he signed it, knew the consquences of his actions if he broke it. Be a big boy and accept the punishment. End of story.

    I have a little something for you on my blog - come see!

  15. I love this! B/c so many are laughing at this.

    I went to a very conservative Christian college. According to our rules, we were not to drink or have premarital sex.

    Now, were these rules broken? Yes. Absolutely. B/c we were kids. Though, not everyone broke the rules and not everyone had a single clue that rules were being broken.

    If you were caught, you had to accept the fact that you could be expelled. B/c you knew what you were getting into.

    I'm glad that BYU is not making an exception for this boy just b/c he is a basketball star.

  16. What a great man to be able to own up to his mistakes, regardless of knowing the consequences, or how public they would be made. That takes a lot of courage. I am impressed with him.
    It makes me a little sad that people are mocking him, and analyzing him, but he did what is right, and that in and of itself is awesome. Good for him.

  17. I agree with everything you said.

    AND, it is interesting to me that when I read that facebook status update that someone wrote, the thing that immediately came to my mind was, "I can't believe how judgmental and closed-minded that person was. Just because he had premarital sex doesn't mean he is also out drinking coffee." Judgmental people make me feel sad.

  18. I'm glad that BYU is following their own code of ethics and not 'bending the rules' to their advantage.

  19. You are exactly right Emmy! It seems like there are a lot of people that need to make sure their heads are screwed on tight.

  20. I didn't attend BYU, but I went to Ricks, and I know that this same kind of thing always confused people.
    I remember visiting a different university while on my way home for vacation, and I felt awkward being out past curfew, and not having a "guys out" rule.
    I never made judgemental comments to them about their choices, so it always surprised me how willing people were to poke fun at the choices I was making in my life.
    I guess some people need to put others down to make themselves feel better...