BYU/Davies: Mekeli Wesley reaches out in empathy

Published: Wednesday, March 9 2011 9:30 a.m. MST

"In the long run, wins slip into record books, but lessons taught and learned about commitment and honesty, about being true to one's self and a higher standard can shape a life and are critical to our nation's future. If the culprits in the Enron scandal or the major players in other economic or political lapses of integrity would have learned the lessons BYU and Mr. Rose [BYU basketball coach Dave Rose] are teaching Brandon Davies and others touched by this story, our nation's future would be more secure."

In its opinion titled "Three cheers for BYU which, sad to say, is unusual in putting honor before sports success," the New York Daily News offers this: "At another school, Davies' dalliance would not have raised an eyebrow — if anything, they'd raise him a beer. But BYU follows a different path, one that is extreme to many but central to the school's ethos."

In writing for the Bloomberg Businessweek, Scott Sochick says BYU's action "is reason for celebration": "What we have here, at long last, is an institution of higher learning acting the part. Pathetically, it's an all-too-rare case of a university placing a higher value on values than athletic glory and the massive payday and promotion that accompanies winning in these billion-dollar television contract days."

And the Washington Post invited its "On Faith" guest panelists to weigh in on the BYU/Davies issue as well.

The Post's own Kathy Orton wrote that "I'm rooting for BYU, and not just because I think Jimmer Fredette is one of the most exciting players to watch in college basketball today. The reason I'm throwing my support behind the Cougars is because the school recently did something few colleges and universities are willing to do these days: It stood by its beliefs."

And regular "On Faith" contributor Michael Otterson, who heads the public affairs department for the LDS Church (which also sponsors BYU) wrote: "BYU isn't going to throw this young man aside. Ultimately, the honor code is as much about the individual as the team or the school. Brandon Davies is more than a trending topic on Google. He is a young man full of energy, talent and opportunity, all of which remain present as he moves through what is undoubtedly a difficult time in his life. While this one mistake may redirect his life for a time, it does not define who he is. Those who care for him, including his church leaders, are reaching out to help, guide and support. Friends, family and true fans likewise. There are a lot of people at BYU who will do all they can to help Brandon get through this trial in his life and come out on top. He isn't just an athlete, but a child of God. No one knows yet how that will happen, but I do know that they will do everything they can to make it work and help him put all this behind him."

e-mail: taylor@desnews.com

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