National pundits weigh in on BYU's Honor Code

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  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    March 4, 2011 12:27 p.m.


    Do you know of anyone that has been excommunicated or disfellowedship by the Church? I know many and some of the things they are not allowed to do until betermined by proper authority (Bishop/Stake President/Quroum of the Twelve) is:

    Partake of the sacrament, prayer in Church meetings, pay tithing, sustain member callings and many other things. They are not kept from attending worship services but the rights that many members enjoy is SUSPENDED. The same is now in effect for Brandon. How, he reacts to the situation will determine whether he stays at BYU or is forced to leave. Notice that it stated he was suspended from the Basketball team, not the univeristy at this time. Therefore, he can still attend classes and continue to work on his degree but he can't play basketball. I feel this is the type of action the University should have taken and did. There are reports that Brandon turned himself in. If I told a lie and then came back to my Mother to admit it. I still was punished for it. The punishment was less than if she found it but still I was punished. This is no different.

  • michaelm Waukesha, WI
    March 3, 2011 11:55 p.m.

    It's interesting to see the local Utah news and comments about this in Utah. A principle of Mormonism is to confess, repent, forgive and forget.

    Largely most of the comments directed to this situation are compassionate and supportive that I have read all over the country. People are honoring his integrity for coming forward on his own to confess to breaking a serious part of the BYU honor code. He will be respected and forgiven by most people there.

    I've already seen where parents of kids there are using him as an example to emulate, not to make mistakes or sin, but to note the honorable and manly way he handled it and how others will rally around him with pride for his integrity in the world where few have it and honesty and morality is mostly ignored and devalued.

    I appreciate it when a star athletic puts ethics and honor above self interests, self gratification and greed. Well done Davies and BYU

  • BlueCoug Orem, UT
    March 3, 2011 8:21 p.m.

    "In 2010, Brigham Young University supplanted Harvard University as the most popular national university in America, according to an analysis of yield (the percentage of students accepted to a school who opt to attend) by U.S.News & World Report. For BYU, ranked 71st in U.S. News's ranking of the nation's best national universities, 78 percent of students who were accepted chose to attend. Harvard finished a close second, with 76 percent of accepted students opting to attend the nation's most selective university."

    Every student who enrolls at BYU knows about the strict code of conduct, the BYU Honor Code, that they will be expected to abide by, BYU had the highest percentage of students who were accepted choose to attend BYU.

    Why would students CHOOSE to abide by such a strict code of conduct?

    And, how would they react if the code they promised to live, that they signed their names to, wasn't strictly enforced?

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    March 3, 2011 7:09 p.m.

    With all the people turned away without a first chance to go to BYU is it fair to those who don't keep the honor code. David Bednar at Ricks College in the fall of 1998 said if you have no desire to keep honor code go somwere else. Not fair to those that don't get in.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    March 3, 2011 6:45 p.m.

    lovable losers - BYU's new motto after the season ends.

  • bhansenjr Drums, PA
    March 3, 2011 5:26 p.m.

    As an alum and an active member of the LDS church I am disappointed in my school. Anyone is sorely mistaken to assume that BYU runs like the church. BYU is harsh and hard handed and the church is not. BYU is punitive the church is constructive. We believe that the voice of people is right (Mosiah 29:6, yet we reject reasonable and honorable people suggest. We believe that vengence is mine, yet BYU hands it out in the name of consequences. Show me an instance in the Bible or Book of Mormon where the repentant and resmorseful sinner is turned away by Christ or not allowed to participate with Him, BYU tells them they cannot particpate. BYU is a university owned and operated by the LDS Church, but it is not a church or the church. It is a hardline, punitve institution that calls uphold a wonderful honor code with the sword as opposed to the word of Christ.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    March 3, 2011 2:20 p.m.

    The school is (or technically is not) Bob Jones University which has actually allowed inter-racial dating for about 30 years, which shows how behind the times you are.
    The policies of Bob Jones both in the past and at present make sense within their religious worldview. I would likewise not criticize a Muslim-run university for banning women exposing their hair or expelling any student that decided to convert to Christianity.

    The issues at hand are not about rules but equally applying them. There have been too many cases of athletes getting away with crimes like sexual assault because the campus police sat on the report for two months before giving it to the prosecutor when the trail was cold, the victim had committed suicide after being sent threatening messages and the memory of witnesses had probably been "helped" in a way that would protect the careers of the players involved, for us to respond with anything but relief to disciplining. Ture I only know of one case that fits the above descripion, but that is 1 too many.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    March 3, 2011 2:09 p.m.

    I am still trying to overcome the shock, I actually put a reccomend on a comment by alt134. The fact of the matter is that there was no low-key way to suspend Davies. He made the choice to become a college baskeball player knowing full well that once he did his level of privacy was down. The choice was suspend Davies or don't suspend him and value winning over the Honor Code. Those were the only choices. There was no way to suspend him and then claim he was not suspended. Well, I guess they could lie and claim he was out becuse of heart trouble, or they could have highered a hit man to break his legs and then truthfully said he was not playing because his legs were broken, but pretending nothing happened was not an option.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    March 3, 2011 1:28 p.m.

    the Church never will be popular. The standards of the Lord will not be popular with the world. The goal of missionary work is not to make the Church well liked, but to brings people to Christ. The pure in heart who are willing to live the gospel of Jesus Christ will be drawn in more while the easily offended of the type who caused Jesus to sak "will you also go away then" will go away.

    On the other hand by the theory of "no publicity is bad" publicity to BYU has certainly gone up with this development. I think some we too often want to have "a king like all other people" instead of being the Peculiar Treasure of the Lord.

    The honest in heart will embrace and be encoraged by the caring more for the man than for the game that is inherent in showing people that helping them develop consistent character is worth more than game victories.

  • Alex 1 Tucson, AZ
    March 3, 2011 1:23 p.m.

    I extend my love to Davies as my brother. I also think that the public consequences could end up being the best thing that ever happened to him. The world is not over, regardless of how painful this might be for him. He can return and repent, and it sounds like he has a good start on it.

    Anybody else out there tempted with the same problem would do well to take note.

  • LDS Cedar City, UT
    March 3, 2011 12:24 p.m.

    The fact is virtually no one could live the Honor Code perfectly (Obey the laws: when did you last exceed the speed limit?, Be honest: when did you last tell a little lie, or exagerate?). So... much is left to the ecclesiastical judge (bishop/stake pres) to consider, weigh, and ultimately render a judgement. Then he discusses with the univ HC office. They then consider, weigh, and ultimately render a judgement. They, of course, know that no one can be perfect, so again a lot is judgement.

    There has to be more to this story than has been publicized. Brandon was suspended (just from basketball).

    What we don't know
    1. How did his behavior come to light? Was it through his admission?
    2. Why is Brandon suspended from the team mid-season, but not from BYU?

    These are legitimate, thoughtful questions for all of us. There is the continuing attitude that "you break the Honor Code, you pay the price". But in reality, the Code is broken a lot and there is no public price to pay.

    Brandon's punishment extends beyond his suspension from b-ball. It has been nationally publicized.

  • midwestreader Brighton, MI
    March 3, 2011 11:41 a.m.

    As a person who has lived in and away from Utah, and never went to the Y, there are other schools, way to go BYU! I would have worried if they had given the player a pass, as would everyone else who takes the code seriously.

  • megen Truth or Consequences, NM
    March 3, 2011 11:18 a.m.

    I'm not Mormon, but I applaud BYU for honoring their honor code! I hope they will not cave to liberal media pressure. Maybe BYU can turn out NBA players that aren't criminal thugs like so many other schools players.

  • Rosebyanyothername Home Town USA, UT
    March 3, 2011 9:32 a.m.

    "At B.Y.U., owned and operated privately by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the honor code is separate from the academic honesty policy, and is more closely linked to the personal-behavior tenets of the Mormon church."

    This is true for BYU and the LDS Church. The public sees the basket ball team; they see how they conduct themselves and the sportsman-like behavior, on and off the B-ball court. What they don't know is they enjoy the light they see in them and their integrity comes through, it is the BYU Honor code that sets us apart from the rest.

    The LDS Church is not the only one who have higher standards. Men in the Marines who get Embassy duty, or to guard the tombs of the Unknown Soldiers make a life commitment, if you will to be free of alcohol and an unbreakable moral code.

    That code not only means honesty, but being chaste and morally clean. The Boy Scouts have one (code) as well, in case no one has noticed. The Honor Code is not unique to BYU. It is what it is--Honor. Principle over performance. Amen.

  • skycrest Sandy, Utah
    March 3, 2011 9:03 a.m.

    There are other private schools that have similar codes, but I'm not sure how they handle infractions. I do know BYU's honor code makes more sense than a school where "interracial dating" is against the rules, like a private school in the south I won't name. My niece at BYU is happily engaged to a boy of another race and planning for a temple wedding because they have both adhered to the honor code, and proud of it.

  • BASavage Vernal, UT
    March 3, 2011 8:25 a.m.

    After last nights loss it seems that BYU made the wrong decision. However they did make the right decision. As the ESPN commentator said "I find this refreshing". Could you imagine if BYU hid this until after the NCAA's? It would tell the world that if your an athelete at BYU the honor code has no meaning. This wasn't a thing about minor violation.

    Any cop, DA or SEC person will tell you that most of the things that they stem from not holding to integrity when young or getting away with things when in High School or College. Remember the Dallas Cowboy's and the University of Miami, Florida football teams in the early 1990's? Heres a joke from that time. "Two UofM (Dallas Cowboys)football players are riding in the back seat of a car. Who's driving?" ......... The Cop".

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    March 3, 2011 7:56 a.m.

    To byufootballrocks:

    I respectfully disagree.

    At my former school some football players did something stupid in their private lives, hurting our school; having a principle who was coach of the same team the year before... they got a slap on the wrist. My choir teacher said 'if any of us did the same, we'd be out of Madrigals', which we all already knew.

    Sports and popular opinion should never justify avoiding accountability and responsibility; otherwise codes of conduct or moral standards might as well not exist. At BYU and in the church we are not moral relativists.

    BYU has a code of conduct, which I support; if I agree to this policy (popular or not) and violate it- I should be held accountable.

    His high position makes this a harder fall for him- true, but BYU isn't ruining his life; he is being held to the same standard as every other BYU student has agreed to follow and faces. The media after-effect is sad, but is not BYU's doing. Media attention to Davies and contention of a private university's honor code are others choices, outside of Davies and BYU's control.

  • Trooper55 Williams, AZ
    March 3, 2011 7:55 a.m.

    All through life we have rules we must live by and follow or we must suffer the conquest that follows. If there's an honor code and it was broken then the person must pay for it. In the military colleges have one to and if it's broken they can be force to leave. So what is the problem at BYU?

  • patjan Flower Mound, TX
    March 3, 2011 6:51 a.m.

    I wish that there would never be a player who had to be publicly marred. However, for BYU to take a stand with principle over athletics is quite an eye opener to the world about who the LDS church is. I am grateful that BYU takes this stand. It will set precedence for future players who will think hard about it.

  • palerider Bountiful, UT
    March 3, 2011 4:21 a.m.

    Now I know why I'm not a BYU fan. If I were, this would rip my guts out. Props to the BYU Administration for doing the right thing, but it still ruins a would-be great season. If I were a BYU fan, I would always be looking over my shoulder for this type of violation (as with Harvey Unga). Even though these players understand the honor code, the're only kids and something like this can spoil great expectations. I hope Davies comes through it alright.

  • WonderingAloud Ogden, UT
    March 3, 2011 12:25 a.m.

    Who cares what the "pundits" think. The essence of the BYU Honor Code is defined not by those that break it, but by the tens of thousands of students that keep it and use it as a guide for happiness in their college life. It should be celebrated, not defended.

  • jameslaramie laramie, wy
    March 2, 2011 11:03 p.m.

    You have much to be proud of in BYU. The school held to its principles, ragardless of the potential fallout as regards the basketball team's performance. I believe Mr. Davies, in being forthright on the issue, has also handled this well. He knew what he signed for when he agreed to represent BYU in athletics, and even though perhaps only a mistake, there are consequences. I am hard put to think of another program in this country that would demonstrate such integrity, and if Mr. Davies is remorseful I would hope the University leadership would allow him another chance next year.

    This just isn't seen in college athletics anymore and you in Utah may count a non-Mormon Wyoming native and true blood Cowboy fan as impressed. Very impressed. (That said, I still must root against BYU at all times as a matter of course. It's professional for people like me. Genetic, even...)

  • diddy Salt Lake City, Utah
    March 2, 2011 10:23 p.m.

    The school should not have used this unfortunate situation to show that it's willing to stick to it's guns. Yes we understand it's the honor code. Yes we understand that you want to be perceived as a school with standards. Where is the integrity and compassion in airing the situation in the media to be viewed as the beacon. You're using this young man's mistake as pr. He should have been released for violating team rules and it should have been left at that. He wouldn't have to go through this scrutiny but... BYU wouldn't get the exposure.

  • TexasMom Flower Mound, TX
    March 2, 2011 9:49 p.m.

    dalry23 and Hedgehog,

    I completely disagree with both of you...unless I happen to be immortal...and my husband, sister, brother-in-law, and many many more people I know because we never violated the Honor Code. And I'm pretty sure we're not perfect so I guess we can't be immortal. Perhaps the Honor Code is just strict and not impossible.

  • dalry23 Santa Maria, CA
    March 2, 2011 9:06 p.m.


    I don't often agree with you but when I do I'll give you your due. Well said on your 6:49 PM comments!

  • washcomom Beaverton, OR
    March 2, 2011 8:47 p.m.

    BYU is a private school, not public, and in essence it's their Honor Code the differs them from all the "ordinary" public and private schools. Even the other private schools have some sort of honor code, but is not as strict as BYU's. BYU is known to be a stone sober school, a "no-party" school, and one that has impeccably high standards. ESPN and other news agencies have no business judging BYU for their standards.

    As a player, you sign the dotted line saying you will follow what is wanted there, and you have signed your integrity on the line. If you can't follow through, then don't go there. Find another school that fits your lifestyle, but don't throw the teammates under the bus because you don't like the rules of the school.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    March 2, 2011 8:05 p.m.

    "Therefore, was it really necessary - honestly now - and compassionate, to:
    1) publicly announce that he had violated the honor code?
    2) make that announcement just over 24 hours after first becoming aware of the violation?
    3) make this announcement at this time, when all eyes are on BYU because of the NCAA run?

    Yes, because you cannot possibly bench a starter the rest of the season for the currently No. 3 team in the nation without having someone asking "uhhhh what happened to him?".

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    March 2, 2011 8:03 p.m.

    "Now the talk has all turned to the honor code and it is mostly negative from a non member perspective. "

    I don't know, the honor code seems silly to most non-members but... they tend to respect BYU for not suspending Brandon for games against Youngstown State and Northern New Jersey A&M Technical Institute of State University.

  • Y Grad / Y Dad Richland, WA
    March 2, 2011 7:53 p.m.

    Re byufootballrocks and others:

    Your compassion is admirable, but the truth is always the best route, even when it is hard. Imagine the uproar and potential harm to both the university and Brandon had they taken your advice and then more information somehow came to public knowledge. The concept of letting it out there in degrees keeps the spotlight on longer, calls into question the university's honesty and integrity, and casts lingering doubt and speculation on Brandon.

    This is exposure the church and BYU did not want, but make no mistake. Many people are impressed with a principled stand, and many more will be impressed with Brandon's integrity and courage when he makes his comeback.

    Please people, let your only thoughts and prayers be for a young man who is hurting, and all others who are hurting with him. The church, BYU and the team will all be fine.

  • trueconservative Northern Utah, UT
    March 2, 2011 7:41 p.m.

    I think this whole situation is sad. Did Brandon know better? You bet he did, however does the whole world need to know about it? I wish this had been done a little more privately. Sure Brandon is just like any other student and should face consequences, but repentance is a very private affair and should remain so. I think BYU should have just told the media that he was out for the season period, and should have left it at that.

  • byufootballrocks Herndon, VA
    March 2, 2011 7:25 p.m.

    BYU confirmed that Brandon Davies committed no criminal act.
    ESPN reported that he is "very remorseful."

    Therefore, was it really necessary - honestly now - and compassionate, to:
    1) publicly announce that he had violated the honor code?
    2) make that announcement just over 24 hours after first becoming aware of the violation?
    3) make this announcement at this time, when all eyes are on BYU because of the NCAA run?

    The net effect of this is to make Brandon's repentance process much harder, because of the additional load one is made to bear because the entire world knows! We're talking about a precious human life - a 19-year-old. What a burden to carry!

    When you punish it is very important to not do it in a way that has the potential to destroy the person.

    Wouldn't it have made more sense to suspend him "for a violation of team rules" and then address the issue of the potential release of his suspension after the tournament, when the attention dies down?

    I am very loyal to BYU and the leaders of the Church and I believe this was not done right. The damage is done.

  • sammyg Springville, UT
    March 2, 2011 7:24 p.m.

    "BYU is in a tough spot."

    LOL. Hardly!

    In the grand scheme of things I would say that you, hedge, are in a tough spot.

    Day in and day out creating contention when you could choose to do something much more positive in your life.

  • sammyg Springville, UT
    March 2, 2011 7:07 p.m.


    For every negative comment, story, opinion, etc. that's generated over this there will be countless others that will inquire about and come to an understanding and appreciation for BYU's Honor Code. Once again, this media attention will come out more positive and more important than the sports program.

    By the way, we're only talking about one player here. Last I heard Jimmer and company are still around and the team is ON for tonight.

    uh... mark it down!

    Go Cougars!

  • hedgehog Ann Arbor, MI
    March 2, 2011 6:49 p.m.

    It seems every three months we need to mourn and grieve for yet another *Honor Code casualty.

    When you have such immortal rules placed upon mortals what do you expect? I guess disappointment is what your striving for... because it's inevitable.

    BYU is in a tough spot. To change said codes to something more attainable would prove to by hypocrital to what is preached.

  • owlmaster2 Kaysville, UT
    March 2, 2011 6:15 p.m.

    I'm an outsider on this issue but if any institution has rules, I'm sure that they don't keep them a secret.
    If he knowingly broke a rule that called for dismissal, the load is on the players shoulders. Don't attack the rule maker. If you are upset go after the rule breaker.

    Go Utes

  • ahfclass Orem, UT
    March 2, 2011 5:46 p.m.

    Justintime Y from Boise:

    Did you open even one link on this article and read it? The blog link? The ESPN link? The CBS link? They all speak very positively of how refreshing it is to see a university put honor and integrity above athletics. There are polls attached to some of these national opinions, too. The overwhelming majority are voting in favor of BYU's enforcement of the honor code.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    March 2, 2011 5:39 p.m.

    My non-Mormon friend has nothing but praise for BYU.-- Way to go! It's good to see someone with values and sticking with it.

    Times have changed. We don't even expect our political leaders to be truthful or honest. As much as this hurts the basketball team, I find character refreshing, and yes, I'm ashame of those who whine of an easy to live honor code.

  • cldstar Twin Falls, ID
    March 2, 2011 5:38 p.m.


    I'm confused. Do you really mean to say that BYU's adherence to the honor code is _hurting_ the church's image? Maybe it's hurting the basketball team's chance for playoffs, etc., but requiring student athletes to suffer the consequences for their actions is absolutely, morally the right thing to do. Anyone whose opinion the church or BYU should care about will see that.

    One of the worst things we ever did as parents was not uniformly enforce the consequences we said we would impose for misconduct by our children. They came to believe (and we're working hard to disabuse them of this idea) that Mom and Dad's rules have no teeth, and therefore misconduct is no big deal.

  • Silence Dogood Caliente, NV
    March 2, 2011 5:36 p.m.

    The beauty of a private school is that you don't have to have someone there if they are not willing to play by your rules.

  • nottyou Riverton, UT
    March 2, 2011 5:34 p.m.

    You break the rules, you pay the price. We like it that way and we don't care what people think or how negative it may appear. If you sign on the dotted line, make sure you keep your commitment. You make the choice. Thank you very much.

  • JustintimeY Boise, Id
    March 2, 2011 4:59 p.m.

    Every thing that Jimmer and this team has done positive for the church just went out the window with the honor code. their are many non members that had joined the BYU basketball bandwagon that are now asking why? Jimmer and the basketball team in general had been getting much positive attention on line. Now the talk has all turned to the honor code and it is mostly negative from a non member perspective. Disapointment as a fan would be an understatement.