BYU separates itself from other schools with Davies ruling


You know, this story sums up my thoughts on this.  I think the BYU coach nails it when he says it has nothing to do with morals, and more about commitment.

BYU has suspended a key basketball player for having premarital sex. In the process, the third-ranked Cougars have pretty much thrown away a dream season.

I guess now we know why Shawn Kemp didn’t play there.

Ba dum bump!

Brandon Davies’ suspension has quickly become the rim shot heard round the world. A college kid banned for fooling around with his girlfriend?

Whoever she is, “Brandon Davies girlfriend” was the hottest search Thursday morning on Google. Even hotter than Charlie Sheen, who also never considered playing for the Cougars. Millions of people wanted to get a look at the woman who has probably sunk a championship season. The whole thing sounds like a joke, or maybe it’s a time warp and we all awoke this morning in 1952. Once the shock subsides, however, you realize that this is refreshing.

Coaches and schools love to talk about discipline and integrity. Then they recruit athletes with neither and do everything they can to keep them eligible. I’d say give it up for BYU, but that’s the last thing the school wants its students to do.

You may not agree with Item No. 2 of the school’s honor code – Live a chaste and virtuous life. You’ll also get in trouble for cussing, drinking, smoking and wearing skimpy clothing around the Provo campus. Certainly if every school enforced Item No. 2, there wouldn’t be enough players to fill a confession box, much less the NCAA tournament field. And the team that won would have the dullest victory party in college history. But you have to admire the Cougars for living up to their standards. Heck, these days you have to admire them for merely having standards.

Compare what happened in Provo to a similar case in Kansas. The Jayhawks put point guard Tyshawn Taylor on “indefinite suspension” last week for violating team rules.

“I was a bad kid,” Taylor told ESPN.

The indefinite suspension lasted until Wednesday. With March Madness looming, Taylor came off the bench to score nine points in Kansas’ 64-51 win over Texas A&M.

Meanwhile in Provo, the Cougars played their first game without Davies, their leading rebounder and third-leading scorer. New Mexico crushed them, 82-64.

BYU was 27-2 and arguably had the best team in school history. Now a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament appears doubtful. The way they looked Wednesday night, the Cougars may not make it out of the Mountain West tournament.

I shouldn’t be too hard on Kansas, which at least benched Taylor for two games. I live in Florida, where the state’s flagship university had 30-plus football players arrested during Urban Meyer’s winning reign.

A Sports Illustrated/CBS News investigation this week revealed that 7 percent of the players on top 25 teams last year had criminal records. At BYU, you need an Ecclesiastical endorsement to play. At SEC schools, you need a waiver from the parole board.

In an ESPN poll of the top 50 football recruits, 62.7 percent of the players said schools tried to use “hostesses” to influence their decision. What’s more, 30.5 percent of the recruits said the tactic worked.

It’s safe to say BYU doesn’t have hostesses. Davies was well aware of this when he showed up on campus. Provo is his hometown, so he knew the rules of engagement, or non-engagement. And this isn’t really about sex or a poor kid being snagged in some puritanical police roundup. “A lot of people try to judge if this is right or wrong, but it’s a commitment they make,” BYU coach Dave Rose said. “It’s not about right or wrong. It’s about commitment.”

Davies broke his. He reportedly went to the school and confessed, adhering to Item No. 1 in the honor code – Be honest. BYU must now decide whether Davies will be allowed back next season. My very-uneducated guess is he will, simply because he’ll be a great advertisement for the school.

Reno Mahe was a star freshman on the 1998 football team. He violated the honor code after his first season and was kicked out of school. He eventually returned and played four years in the NFL.

“I appreciate what BYU did to me,” Mahe told local media in Salt Lake. “I appreciate the honor code and what it stands for. I appreciate how they enforce it. You get a lot of schools that say they have codes, but I don’t think anyone enforces it like BYU does.”

But really, how could it not? If BYU hadn’t suspended Davies, it would have been rightly accused of religious hypocrisy.

Now all it stands to lose is a championship season. All over a kid and his girlfriend.

Laugh if you wish, but at least BYU still has its honor. That’s something a lot of schools gave up long ago.

I am no fan of the Mormon religion, although I do admire the results it has in making people seem well adjusted and happy.  Same with Scientology.  I loathe it, but if it works for someone, who am I to tell them to do different.
Regardless, it is amazing to me that we would see such valor from a “big league” NCAA team with real Final Four dreams this year.
Kudo’s to BYU for standing for something.  It is something that other schools could learn from.

BYU has suspended a key basketball player for having premarital sex. In the process, the third-ranked Cougars have pretty much thrown away a dream season.

I guess now we know why Shawn Kemp didn’t play th
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