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Should BYU's Davies have been suspended?

March 19, 2011

At this high point, Brandon Davies, BYU's center and third leading scorer, came forward and informed BYU that he had violated the honor code. Based on the nature of the violation, BYU dismissed him from the basketball team for the remainder of the season.

Since then, BYU's record has been 3-2 with two big losses, and it has dropped to a third seed in the tournament. His dismissal was an additional blow to a team that lost one of its starting big men earlier in the year to a season-ending knee injury.

BYU has been both praised and criticized for Davies' dismissal. Either way, BYU takes the honor code seriously. It also tries to apply the honor code in a manner that is reflective of the circumstances.

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For Davies, he is still a student at BYU and is expected to play basketball next year for BYU. Although he cannot suit up for the remainder of the season, he has been on the bench in street clothes with the team and crowd supporting him.

For BYU, standards do mean something, even when the game is on the line.

Rick Callister
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
La Cañada

No, I don't think that officials at BYU should sweep Brandon Davies' actions under the rug. After all, what kind of message would it send to the student body if the university ignored its own honor code whenever it became inconvenient to enforce? By suspending a star athlete, BYU is making the very strong point that moral values are more important than basketball wins. Whether a college team gains a championship trophy is far less important than imparting core ethical lessons to young people to help them navigate the often turbulent waters of adult life.

Every university has the right to determine what its social and moral standards are on campus. As long as these rules do not conflict with the civil liberties of its students, they are perfectly legitimate and must be honored. All students entering college — especially one as committed to social conservatism as Brigham Young — are fully aware of the various regulations they are subject to and are even required to sign an affidavit acknowledging this. If Mr. Davies did not feel he could uphold the school's code of honor, he should never have enrolled.

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