PROVO — Former BYU football star Reno Mahe feels for Cougar basketball player Brandon Davies, who was suspended from the team Tuesday for a school honor code violation.
Mahe suffered the same hard lessons in 1998 after an honor code violation got him booted from the football program after his freshman season.
"I've always shared this with people, that it was probably one of the best things that had happened to me," he said. "I appreciate what BYU did to me. I appreciate the honor code and what it stands for. I appreciate that they enforce it. You get a lot of schools that say they have codes, but I don't think anyone enforces it like BYU does."
Mahe said he learned that he was no better than anyone else.
Mahe does feel for Davies because the basketball player's suspension is being widely reported in the press and coming at a crucial time for the No. 3-ranked Cougars, who are vying for a top seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Mahe's advice to Davies?
"Learn the lesson that needs to be learned. There's a lesson to be learned. I don't know what it is, but come back," Mahe said. "It's a great school. It's a one-of-a-kind school."
Mahe said being an athlete puts you in the spotlight.
"This is what you decide as an athlete, that when the good is there, you are going to get attention," he said. "When the bad is there, you will get that same attentions."
Mahe points out that Davies will also have to deal with disappointing the fans during the peak of a historic basketball season. He said fans need to support Davies.
"Don't say that he disappointed you. Really," Mahe said. "Give the kid a break. He is a kid."
After two years, Mahe returned to BYU and to the football program. He later went on to play for several seasons in the NFL.
Davies is a sophomore and a university spokeswoman said his future with the basketball program has not been decided.