BYU: Upholding religious standards or racial profiling?

Posted: March 3, 2011 in Basketball, General
Tags: , , , , , ,

So of course everyone in the sports world around the nation is fully entrenched in the Brandon Davies story at BYU.  For those totally not up to speed he was an outstanding and pivotal player on the Cougar basketball team that was dismissed for violating the school Honor Code by having sex with his girlfriend.

Yes EVERY school/university around the world has a list of codes, ethics, conduct regulations that all students must follow.  Some schools are a more stringent that others.  One would have to put the likes of the Stanfords and Harvards up near the top of that list as well.  But it seems that some times these “codes” and those that enforce them can be very vague and even “Salem witch trial-ish” and not governed by school authorities.  The higher scholastic schools use them mainly to discourage academic dishonesty.  Note this from The Harvard Crimson online magazine:

“Essentially, an honor code is a document signed by students who promise to uphold certain standards of conduct. The policy is typically accompanied by an assumption of integrity on the part of students—consequently, schools that institute honor codes will often allow or even encourage unproctored exams, for example.

But beyond these basic elements, the differences between one honor code and the next can be significant.”

Now this is where things become unique for BYU as a Mormon school and their list of regulations on the Honor Code Statement, this list includes things such as:

Be honest
Live a chaste and virtuous life
Obey the law and all campus policies
Use clean language
Respect others
Abstain from alcoholic beverages, tobacco, tea, coffee, and substance abuse
Participate regularly in church services
Observe the Dress and Grooming Standards
Encourage others in their commitment to comply with the Honor Code

One can obviously see that this list of rules is way more strict than any you would find at any school and include violations of premarital sex, smoking and the encouragement of the “telling on”  or ratting out of others.

I’ve seen many social media posts and comments degrading these rules, including Alumni, as ancient, archaic, out of touch with the times.  Saying “kids will be kids and college is made for these types of activities”.  Well you know what?  You are wrong.  This list of codes leads to a very beneficial and healthy lifestyle.  But semantics aside, the school has the right to establish any Codes they wish and if any student does not wish to follow them, then they do no have to go to the school to begin with.  No one put a gun to the student’s head and forced them to sign up.  You made an obligation to follow them and know the consequences if you don’t.

My issue of concern is this:  How does the committee enforce these rules and the violations thereof and is there a discrepancy upon those whom they choose to punish and to what degree of punishment the violator gets?

In an interview with Hans Olsen, former standout BYU football player and alum who works for 1280am sports talk radio in Salt Lake City, Utah, on local radio ESPN 1100 with Steve Coffield and Dave Cokin, he stated he was subject to severe false allegations of sexual and physical assault of a female that really cost him and destroyed him mentally and emotionally.  None of the allegations had any basis but those that proposed them suffered zero consequences.  He was fortunate.  He was white.

Now where minorities are involved is this:  It seems to be that throughout the years we have only heard of these groups being suspended and cast out due to their violations.  Roddie Jenkins, Reno Ma’he, Harvey Unga, Michael Lloyd and now Brandon Davies to name the top students involved.  With less than 5% of the school student body being minorities why is the majority of kids being suspended not white?!  You’re telling me that zero white student athletes violate these codes as well?  Or do they just not get suspended and only put on probation? 

Does the name Jim McMahon ring a bell?!  From visual and actual accounts he violated every code on a daily basis.  He would get drunk with the other team the night before and tell them how he was going to destroy them the next day!  He would light up stogies on campus!  Are you telling me that the Honor Committee has become more strict now than back then?  Or is it because Jim was taking the team to a National Title?  Now by no means am I accusing BYU of unethical racial discrimination but the questions do have to be raised.

As far as the punishment of the violation is concerned, the rules are the rules.  Whether you believe in the Bible, the Book of Mormon, or you are Atheist there are consequences for your violation of rules.  If you break the law of speeding you get a ticket.  Did you kill any one?  No, but you broke the local rules.  Same with those that break the BYU Honor Code, if you break the rules you suffer the punishment.  Davies didn’t get kicked out of school and according to Head Coach Rose feels that he can be apart of the team again.  So let’s not act like it’s an end all.  Brandon was not put to death, nor even kicked out.  Yes people can be punished, truly repent, and be reinstated to the position or status in life they once had.  Quit acting like his entire life has been destroyed. Their house, their rules

Let’s not forget that every year student athletes are kicked off their respective teams due to “school or team violations”.  Korie Lucious from Michigan St. for “unspecified reasons” comes to mind and many football players are suspended from teams before College Bowl games.  Funny I didn’t hear a huge national uproar against them.

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Comments
  1. Mike says:

    I believe the athlete you are talking about at Michigan State is Corey Lucious. You make a good point. That is a question that needs to be asked.

  2. mcampy says:

    Payton Wales:
    @Campy70 It was a good article, I just finished it. made some good points. i heard it was their annual meeting with the bishop. Either Davies or the girl felt bad about the whole thing and admitted it a a sin basically. But, it’s all still hearsay. the McMahon thing is interesting, but as we know the world has changed in those last few decades and You could keep someone like him under wraps. With today’s media that is impossible. But Jim has claimed multiple stories on his behavior at the school. Either way, school did what they had to do. I’m sure Jesse Jackson and Sharpton will open their mouths though and say something profoundly stupid like they always do.

    PaytonWales 2 mins

  3. mcampy says:

    Andre Carter:
    @mr_carter99 I don’t give a damn…I went to THEEE university of Maryland and I was allowed to have sex ther

  4. mcampy says:

    Eric Galko, Optimumscouting.com
    @Campy70 Read it, thought-provoking. If you added a bit more to both arguments in some way and closed w/your view on which is right, it’d be great; Post at BleacherReport.com?

  5. mcampy says:

    Chris Harris NFL:
    Very interesting. RT @Campy70 @ChrisHarrisNFL

  6. mcampy says:

    Alex Holmes (USC TE and Troy Polamalu bro-in-law):
    @Campy70 I have no idea whats going on there…If they really enforced that rule, the school would be empty
    Trojan81

  7. As a graduate from BYU and friends with athletes and non athletes alike, I knew of kids who broke rules and were kicked out and kids who were found in violation and put on probation. It didn’t matter if they were black or white, athlete or not. It’s not a racist thing. BYU is a private, religious university. I’m with you—if they don’t or won’t follow the rules, they should go somewhere else. There are consequences for breaking rules.

    Brandon Davies is a kid who grew up in Provo, Utah as a Mormon and knew the rules. His color doesn’t matter. I’m sad he made the choices he did, but I wish him the best.

    • mcampy says:

      Excellent post Corrina, thank you. That’s great insight the general public does not get. My concern though is with the high profile athletes. Because they are so important to the school and sport they play and the huge amount of money the football program brings in, why haven’t we heard of the white athletes being kicked off the teams. Kids are kids and imperfect, in all religions

  8. mcampy says:

    from delmarjc cbs sports:
    When BYU cheated San Diego State in football this past season, was that part of the honor you speak of? Two out of three people in the replay booth were either an employee or somehow affiliated with the program. I don’t even have to worry about denials here, as the Mountain West Conference investigated and suspensions were handed down to all three in the booth. As other AD’s across the country were interviewed about the booth setup, it became quite clear that BYU had circumvented accepted protocols, such as not having an employee in charge of deciding which video feeds to let the head official review. Also, the other BYU affiliated person was put in charge of monitoring the live television feed, which kept showing the obvious BYU fumble, but he chose to say nothing? I guess that was in keeping with the honor code?

    • tdc says:

      I do really think San Diego should have beat Missouri, BYU and Utah this year but I think whoever delmarjc is, he’s an idiot and needs to get his facts straight. It was 1 of 3 and the MWC was the one who paid to have him in the booth, not BYU. I’m pretty sure he was just the video guy and as far as I know didn’t hold a gun to the replay official’s head. Was the fact that SDSU broke MWC policies of keeping booth identities private out of line? I guess sdsu doesnt have any sort of honor code so I suppose it was cool. It’s too bad aztec fans are so butt hurt san diego didn’t do better. And speaking of bad calls… seems like san diego had a fumble go their way earlier in the game that was should’ve gone byu’s way. Maybe a makeup call? Just throwin’ that out there.

  9. mcampy says:

    From @withoutmalice:

    @Campy70 @shannonowens Damn I was hoping against hope that RACE was not part of the equation. Next question WHO or WHOM applied PRESSURE?

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