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BYU's Brandon Davies returns, but what does lack of stories say about the media?

Published: Friday, Sept. 9 2011 1:55 p.m. MDT

He explained that with a 24-hour need for news people have moved on from the story by now, and the only new aspect of the story is his reinstatement because Davies hasn't spoken with any media or reporters since the announcement. He also said for audiences outside of BYU, most guessed BYU would let him back on the team after the violation.

"We know about the honor code, at least the story that was circling in the media," Billings said. "… That story, a lot of people assumed it would have that ending because people didn't see it as a major offense in the first place. Also, Davies isn't speaking to anyone, so there is no new color or nuance."

The passage of time also complicates coverage in different ways. Columnists and reporters are giving all their attention to football, like most BYU sports fans, especially after a close Cougar win over Ole Miss last weekend. And Jimmermania has now moved to the NBA.

Some publications have given the reinstatement some attention, but most are short mentions or asides.

espn.go.com/espn/commentary/story/_/page/howard-110901/brandon-davies-return-byu-rare-positive-story-college-sportsESPN.com writer Johnette Howard took one of the longer looks, writing that Davies' perseverance despite his fall from grace displays an example of someone all athletes should aspire to follow. When she heard what he said about feeling grateful rather than cheated or exploited on getting back into BYU, she said, "That word choice alone makes Davies my college athlete of the year."

Oregonion columnist John Canzano wrote of his amazement BYU has the ability to field successful teams despite such a strict honor code.

USA Today published a story about Jimmer Fredette getting engaged to a BYU cheerleader and added the Davies reinstatement as a simple sidenote to that story.

Other outlets focused on the impact the reinstatement will have on BYU's outlook on the court this winter, like Bleacher Report's columnist Jeff Hansen, who said letting Davies back on the team is a second chance for the post player and also gives BYU a tougher roster as it joins the West Coast Conference.

"This year's team might not have the star power it had with Fredette, but now that Davies is back on the roster, (the Cougars) are poised to make another run to the NCAA tournament," Hansen wrote.

With stories of collegiate sports disgraces plastering the news, like the story of University of Miami players who accepted yacht rides, cars and other questionable gifts, or the tale of how three of Ohio State's football players took impermissible cash benefits and gifts, some see Davies' return as a breath of fresh air.

The Washington Post appreciated BYU's offer of a second chance to the player who averaged 11.1 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. BYU guard Charles Abouo told the Post he finds having Davies back on the team a great comfort and huge benefit for the team.

"We have lofty goals pretty much every year and don't know if we can get there without him in the equation," Abouo said. "He's a big part of what we do and having him back with us definitely helps us."

EMAIL: sgambles@desnews.com

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