|What can the local colleges learn from BYU?|
|Written by Barry Q. Barnes|
|Friday, 11 March 2011 08:21|
Maryland, Georgetown, Howard, American, George Washington, Bowie State, and heck, George Mason has not experienced a student who violated any school honor code or committed an action to get kicked off one of their programs at their institution (at least in my life time). But if one of these institutions were to face a situation of a player violating a code or the law in a major way, would they remove that individual from their program despite how good and important he or she may be with the opportunity of winning a title like BYU?
BYU suspended their sensational sophomore forward Brandon Davies for the remainder of the season for being sexually active with his girlfriend, which violates the program’s honor code. Davies averaged 11.1 points per game as the Cougars’ third leading scorer, but led them in rebounds at 6.2 per contest. All student athletes who select BYU to be the school they want to play for knows the institution’s policies and honor code before he or she is recruited by the school. BYU is respected for their strong, religious faith, but to suspend a player for the rest of the season for committing a non-criminal act is probably the most hypocritical decision a program could make without giving a warning. However, BYU’s action proves that their values and ethics come first; while wins and money comes secondary.
BYU is without a doubt one of the nation’s greatest institutions. However, when it comes to athletics, BYU (in terms of basketball) for years was looked as an easy victory for any program outside the WAC (Western Athletic Conference). The last success on the hardwood for this Mormon institution occurred back in 1981 when All-American and 2-time NBA champion Danny Ainge (currently the president of basketball operations for the Boston Celtics) ran the length on the court after receiving an in-bound pass with eight second left to hit a game-winning layup against Notre Dame which send BYU to the Elite Eight, 51-50. This season, BYU rose from the dead to get back on the national basketball stage to earn the third-ranking of the top 25, with hopes of gaining a number one-seed in the NCAA Tournament in mid-March and make an impact.
"He was a real big key for us, a great teammate, great friend," said junior forward Noah Hartsock, according to USA Today. "When you lose someone like that at this point in the season, it kind of throws you off. We wish him the best."
BYU flexed their muscles and code last year when the institution dismissed running back Harvey Unga from the football team for violating the honor code (having sex), which caused him to miss his senior season. Fortunately for the NFL supplemental draft in 2010, Unga (BYU’s all-time leading rusher with 3,455 yards) was selected by the Chicago Bears in the seventh-round after he withdrew from the institution because he was unable to be reinstated until Jan. 2011. Unga and his girlfriend, Keilani Moeaki who was also removed from the women’s basketball team at BYU, were sexually active with each other in school, but they are now married.
BYU instituted their honor code in writing in the 1940’s, and it states that students must sustain from having sex, drug use, using profanity, smoking, and drinking coffee, tea and alcohol. What makes this ruling of suspending the 6-9 forward hypocritical is that rules and codes, similar to religion, are man-made standards that can’t be met at all times.
The suspension of Davies paints a picture of perfection for BYU, which they are not.
Nonetheless, BYU demonstrated something that most people, institutions and companies would not do under any circumstances, taking a stand.
In a world that is driven by sex and money, BYU took a stand stating they don’t care how good an athlete from their institution may be and no matter what the outcome of success, which involves the generated money that will come, their values, ethics and standards come first. The Word of God is the only absolute thing to guarantee the greatest quality of life in the Mormon faith and that’s what BYU stands by. Having sex is common among people and is less than a minor offend compared to drugs and crime in today’s society, but for faith-based institutions, fornication is just as equivalent, as no sin is greater than other.
People, companies, institutions, and yes, churches have been known to compromise their values, ethics and standards if a situation personally affects them, especially if it involves finances. Hopefully, BYU’s action against Davies will make individuals realize that life is more than just making an abundance of money because BYU will lose out on a lot of cash because tournament wins increases account balances and Davies would have contributed to that gain.
"I think the most important thing the fans need to know is Brandon did the right thing," said BYU head coach Dave Rose on the BYU Radio Network. "He made a mistake, but the way he handled it is the way it should be handled. There are a lot of things that have yet to be determined as far as the university and administration is concerned," Rose said. "I know his heart is in the right place. He's a great young man. I hope we can keep him in the program. He feels really bad for the fact that this is happening at this time."
Davies’ suspension for the remainder of the season may be a hypocritical decision because the powers that be aren’t perfect themselves, but BYU held true to their beliefs which in itself should be commended.
The local colleges and universities are great institutions and have outstanding programs and hopefully they won’t have to remove an individual from one of their teams due to a complicated situation. If so, would they take a stand against an important player, a five-star recruit or a McDonalds All-American when they step across the line, like BYU?