Amid an off-season awash in scandals, controversies and negative headlines, BYU and Brandon Davies have provided a breath of "fresh air" for college athletics, writes ESPN.com's Johnette Howard.
Davies, who was suspended last March at the apex of the Cougars' season for violating the school's honor code, worked hard to be reinstated as a student and as a basketball player at BYU.
"The really, truly remarkable thing about what happened between Davies' dismissal eight months ago and the easy-to-miss news on Friday that BYU has reinstated him is how everything about his case flies smack in the face of the way most discussions about college sports' problems are trending these days," Howard writes.
Instead of transferring or blaming others for his actions, Davies admitted his mistake and accepted the punishment. That's a rarity in college sports these days.
"Davies probably would never presume to say that he has become a walking, talking antidote to the cynics who say that college sports are irredeemably broken," Howard writes. "But he and Brigham Young University have a chance to be. That's the significance of Davies' story. You don't have to agree with the school's honor code -- which also requires students to be honest, abstain from alcoholic beverages, tobacco, tea, coffee and substance abuse, and attend church regularly -- to be fascinated by the contrarian questions that should be raised by BYU's insistence on hewing to some higher standard. Or Davies' admirable reaction to that."