Brad Rock: BYU was right in announcing honor code suspension

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  • poppycarlos Scottsdale, AZ
    Sept. 21, 2013 8:57 a.m.

    A school can make any rules of conduct that they want. Nobody is forced to sign and the players all know the pre-determined consequences. What is not to like?

  • frugalfly PULLMAN, WA
    Sept. 20, 2013 9:39 p.m.

    Hadley is a senior. He has grown up in this program. He knows well that Bronco walks the line with the football team. Bronco would have suspended Jim McMahon. LaVell and others turned a blind eye to the culture of athletes that could live above (more like below) the honor code because they were athletes. As a freshman living off campus, I had roommates who were nonmembers and even two members who broke the honor code right and left...I knew wrestlers, baseball players, and golfers at BYU who broke the honor code. I was a dumb intimidated non athlete freshman who didn't turn them in. I would rather BYU get rid of athletics than let the athletes live different rules or have different standards. Our culture already worships athletes and celebrities. There is a whole sector of society that we let live out of bounds because they can dunk or make a bazillion dollars or make music, or star in a movie or win a popularity (election) contest... I went to BYU to have a different experience. State university for me was an unruly extension of what I lived with in high school. I support Honor Code!

  • sukiyhtaky us, CA
    Sept. 20, 2013 4:27 p.m.

    idablu...sorry you are waaaaay off. It is prideful to want to hide behind a false representation of your behavior rather than own up to what you chose to do. That is using a lie to cover up the truth. It is not like he didn't fully know what would happen through his actions. It's called being responsible and being accountable. If it is going to embarrass you...simple...don't do it.

  • sukiyhtaky us, CA
    Sept. 20, 2013 4:21 p.m.

    I think the bigger point to be made is being lost here. BYU and Monson and the LDS church didn't embarrass this young man, he embarrassed himself. I went to BYU as a non-member. I had to sign the same agreement to abide by the honor code. If I didn't like it or didn't want to live by it, I was certainly free to go elsewhere==there was no gun at my head. All the religious stuff aside, if you don't have your word, if you can't be counted on to be honorable and live up to your committments and word...what else do you have and when will your signature and word count for something? Just like everyone else, if you don't like it don't go there. He brought the embarrassment on himself and his family, nobody else.

  • panamadesnews Lindon, UT
    Sept. 20, 2013 3:18 p.m.


    No one from BYU's administration said or implied the honor code violation was "sexual in nature". If you have read other articles, a Ute fan saw Hadley at a party in Las Vegas and supplied photo of same to the Utah compliance office. That office in turn immediately notified BYU's compliance office. BYU has said it would have done the same had the tables been turned - indicating that it would have been as a courtesy to the other school, which was what Utah said, also.

    It is not known if he whether or not he was drinking, or what he was doing. But he was there, apparently.

    "We need not speculate as what the nature of the violation was. That is between Hadley and the BYU compliance office and/or his Bishop. He will apparently be back after a 5 game hiatus. Let's all leave it at that.

  • Oatmeal Woods Cross, UT
    Sept. 20, 2013 3:01 p.m.


    You nailed it. People who do not believe in accountability hate BYU's Honor code.

    And given our gossip-driven modren media, it is better for BYU to make the announcement. These student-athletes are the public faces of BYU. Announcements have to be made to avoid even more damaging speculation. "Shaming" isn't part of BYU's philosophy.

  • kaysvillecougar KAYSVILLE, UT
    Sept. 20, 2013 1:32 p.m.

    @love of felines: what did I say that was sanctimonious? Please point that out to me so I can change. A thoughtful discussion doesn't benefit from name calling. My point is that there are some who get so worked up about an honor code violation and they speculate and judge(wrongly many times) about what the person did or how the honor code office handled it. To my point again, the great majority of the hundreds of thousands who have graduated from BYU have no problem with the honor code. If you think it's arcaic or not a good fit there there are many good universities that you can attend but when me make a committment to somthing, shouldn't we be true to our word or be held accountable?

  • OlderGreg USA, CA
    Sept. 20, 2013 1:21 p.m.

    idablu: that is the stuff of gossip fodder. He coulda had a beer. He might have punched somebody. He might have been caught during a test with a "crib sheet". He might have spent a weekend in jail for dodging a parking ticket. He might have hollered a totally inappropriate word in a public place. He might have "borrowed" something from a shop.

    Do you really want to make assumptions out loud?

  • Spider Rico Greeley, CO
    Sept. 20, 2013 12:54 p.m.

    "You think you are so holy." "You are anti LDS". Stop it people. It's a football game.

  • Where's Stockton ??? Bowling Green, OH
    Sept. 20, 2013 11:58 a.m.

    All that really matters is that Hadley won't be playing...the rest is really no one else's business...and pure speculation that has no more basis for further explanation. The Honor Code is each Student's personal contract with the University...Hadley and everyone else who has ever entered into it did so with full cognition of what it entails.

  • Scores Idaho Falls, ID
    Sept. 20, 2013 10:34 a.m.

    Who is Brad Rock that he has a say in this. His opinion is no different than any other. Coach Mendenhall said what he said, acted, and that should be the end of it. Who am I that I need to know what happened! By the way, Chris Badger gets to play tomorrow. This should be a decent game, and I think BYU wins.

  • The Solution Las Cruces, NM
    Sept. 20, 2013 10:17 a.m.

    You are incorrect sir in your speculation. If it was a morality issue, he would be kicked out of school for two semesters. This happens to regular students to when they get caught looking at porn or turn themselves in to their bishop.

    The fact that he is able to continue the semester says that this is something small, and would not be considered anything at any other university.

    We just need to pray for Spencer, quit judging the situation as an outsider, and move on.

  • LoveTheKittens The Middle Of, UT
    Sept. 20, 2013 9:20 a.m.


    It is fans like you that have turned me against BYU. It has nothing to do with the church (I am card carrying). It has nothing to do with religion, It has nothing to do with secularism. It has everything to do with your (and the rest of the koolaid drinking minions) sanctimonious attitude.

    Maybe Max was right just his geography was wrong.

    Soon to be 4 in a row.
    "When you're doing what's right, on and off the field, the Lord steps in and plays a part." - Austin Collie

  • LoveTheKittens The Middle Of, UT
    Sept. 20, 2013 9:14 a.m.

    This hulabaloo is a fan problem. Too many people try and live vicariously through the actions of others (think deeply about this for a few minutes). The motives of the person that provided the 'evidence' are irrelevant. Mr. Hadley was in the wrong being where he was. The Ute fan in question, assuming that he does not attend BYU, is not held to the same standards as those who do attend the Y (honor code, remember). He can party with boosters, assuming he is not a collegiate athlete, all he wants. BYU is a private school that can enact whatever it chooses in regards to behavioural constraints. The University of Utah is a public university and really has limited authority to limit personal conduct. The U is not at fault here, Mr. Hadley is.

    Be done with this rivalry. BYU can schedule 12 games against whoever will play them, Utah has 3 games that are available for any other school.

  • oldcougar Orem, UT
    Sept. 20, 2013 8:03 a.m.

    Right on, Rock. Good discussion, all...some thoughtful posts from different points of view. My thoughts and prayers are for Preston and for his team mates to rally around him and support his return.

  • cougar76 Raleigh, NC
    Sept. 20, 2013 7:53 a.m.

    I live in SEC country where BYU's list of honor code violations are considered recruiting tools.

  • nitroboy Glendale, CA
    Sept. 20, 2013 7:40 a.m.

    BYU owes the ticket-holder a complete explanation of the young man's shortcomings........NOT!

  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 20, 2013 7:26 a.m.

    @CA.reader. You are right when you say "what actually happened is between the young man and his church leaders". The problem here is that BYU feels compelled to issue a press release loudly announcing "so-and-so has committed an honor code violation and is suspended". All they need to do is hold the player out and when asked where he is they then can say - "this is a private matter being handled between the school and the student". After a while the media would determine there is no real story and drop it. The school would then be viewed as an organization that hold students accountable and does so in a classy manner. Then the matter can be dealt with in a fashion that tries to preserve the dignity and privacy of an individual who happened to make a mistake and help him/her grow from the experience. No public flogging needed to help an individual learn and grow. Hold the student accountable but work it out privately.

  • Pa. Reader Harrisburg, PA
    Sept. 20, 2013 7:20 a.m.

    Rock is so convincing in his argument that I'm sure the honor code office will immediately start supplying information on all student violators to BYU public affairs so media releases can be sent to those students' hometown papers. They should be blessed with the same beneficial "outing" that is only currently enjoyed by high profile students, such as athletes. Stop discriminating. Public shaming for all violators! I

  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 20, 2013 6:55 a.m.

    @Technonerd: Just because some of us question the way BYU handles honor code violations doesn't mean we are "Anti-BYU" or "Anti-LDS"!. I am both a lifelong BYU fan and active LDS, yet I believe the school could handle these issues in a better way. My suggestion would be that when a student makes a mistake and they are held out from the games, upon being asked by the media where the player is; they could simply say it's a private matter between the school and the student. Yes the media would speculate as they will. But when the school goes out of its way to announce publicly "we have an honor code violation by so-and-so", in my view that amounts to a public flogging which I find to be disingenuous. In my opinion, the leaders of the sponsoring institution for BYU should review this policy and explore other options in how these things are handled.

  • kaysvillecougar KAYSVILLE, UT
    Sept. 20, 2013 12:18 a.m.

    Thank you Brad Rock for writing what really needed to be written. Of course there are the few U of U and Utah State (or many other anti-BYU or anti-LDS who feign "deep concern for these young men" so they can try to beat BYU or the church over the head with these events. I find it interesting that these people are the only ones doing the hand wringing about the honor code and the 30,000 current students and many past students like me loved having the honor code and love what our university stands for. The other day, a local sports radio show host, Gordon Monson worked himself into a lather because of his "great concern for this young man" and how he was publicly humiliated by BYU. It is those like Monson and might I add several on this post who are judgmental enough to pretend to know what happened in this case, and when they do, continue to publicize it, thus pointing out the mistakes of these "young men" they supposedly care so much about. Good luck to BYU this Saturday and good luck to Spencer Hadley and the rest of the team.

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    Sept. 19, 2013 11:56 p.m.

    "BYU really does have an honor code and requires its student-athletes to live it. And it wants everyone to know that."

    That is part of my point. Why the chest thumping? The public already knows that he is suspended for doing something wrong. They really don't need to know anything else. The obligation for informing the public has already been met.
    But once the announcement has been made that it was an "Honor Code violation," the public now knows, based on history alone, that the offense was likely sexual in nature, and thus, discretion has been compromised, and further embarrassment poured on the student-athlete. Once again Joe Blow on a full academic scholarship wouldn't merit a formal public announcement for an Honor Code violation. It would be dealt with privately.

    I hear and understand Rock's argument. I just don't agree with it.

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    Sept. 19, 2013 11:28 p.m.

    I am going to take an unpopular stance on this and agree with Aggie 238.
    No one (except a few haters) is arguing against the Honor Code. I agree it is a good thing, and Hadley should take responsibility and accept whatever disciplinary action results from the violation of the Honor Code.
    And I applaud Bronco for announcing publicly that he was being suspended for "violating team rules," and left it at that. He did NOT bring up the Honor Code violation. His statement met the demands of the media and public's "right to know."

    But then it was the Honor Code office that came out and announced that he violated the Honor Code. They didn't have to. They could have meted out the disciplinary action in private, just like they do for the non-high profile students. When BYU announced the Honor Code violation they were deliberately bringing attention to themselves, which in my opinion, comes across as prideful.

    And just because President Monson stands as the Chairman of the Board, it doesn't mean that the Honor Code office, or the people working there are infallible.

  • Rational Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 19, 2013 10:31 p.m.

    What to know some fans of BYU's Honor Code?

    Reno Mahe
    Harvey Unga
    Brandon Davies
    Spencer Hadley
    Kyle Van Noy

    Anyone who doesn't realize that small fact, is missing the point. The Honor Code does exactly what it is supposed to do.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 19, 2013 9:27 p.m.

    There are classless peoples sending emails about this.

  • CA. reader Rocklin, CA
    Sept. 19, 2013 9:14 p.m.

    Once more for those of you who simply don't get it. Press shows up at practice. Press takes note of missing player who happens to be a starter. Press asks Bronco "Hey Broncster, where's old number two?" Does Bronco say who, what, don't know what your're talking about? Does BYU wait until the ESPN guys see that a starter from our stout defense doesn't seem to be on the field? No Bronco and BYU tell the truth. If he tries to evade or not answer at all the press starts digging and then the rumors begin to fly. How will that help the player in question? In fact Bronco doesn't wait for the press or anyone else to start asking questions, he gets out in front by making the announcement. How does Bronco or BYU avoid the situation? I guess in today's spin-everything-so-nobody-gets-it world you simply cannot understand honesty and integrity or accountability.

    What actually happened is between the young man and his church leaders. I think you just want to hear salacious details to justify your own faults.

  • frugalfly PULLMAN, WA
    Sept. 19, 2013 8:39 p.m.

    The honor code is nothing more than tying baptismal obligations to school standing. Mr. Guam, I wouldn't have your kid go on a mission or go to the temple either because those are tied to a lot more than school standing. I thought fussing over the honor code to be kind of silly. The honor code didn't ask me to do any more than my baptismal interview, my priesthood interviews, and my temple recommend interview. Those of us who go to BYU aren't perfect but we aren't afraid to sign a commitment and work to live by it. Leaders are merciful but they aren't permissive if we ever break our commitments. This is a non issue for any member of the church who is going to BYU.

  • JayDee West Jordan, UT
    Sept. 19, 2013 8:24 p.m.

    Quite a bit of honor code talk regarding BYU amidst dubious happenings on the hill in the last 48 hrs. I think Max Hall may have been on to something.

    From my viewpoint and experience as an alum, contrary to previous posts, no one at BYU is coerced into the honor code. You sign, pledge, promise to adhere...with full knowledge of restrictions and accountability. Living honorably...yes, even under the honor code is NOT giving up agency to an entity. You are ALWAYS free to choose. The poster made it clear that he/she wouldn't want the consequences of the honor code for moral mistakes.

    Pretty much sums up much of society today.

    I see so many inconsistencies in this line of thinking. Maybe it's semantics, but words matter.

  • Hey Baby Franklin, IN
    Sept. 19, 2013 8:14 p.m.

    Mildred in Fillmore and I just like the word foibles...

  • Aggielove Cache county, USA
    Sept. 19, 2013 8:09 p.m.

    Code of morals and ethics above all!
    I LOVE football, and I TOTALLY support this.
    And I was no angel in college.

  • Fahrvergnugen Provo, UT
    Sept. 19, 2013 8:04 p.m.

    @Guam_Bomb no one held a gun to my head to make me sign the honor code when I was at BYU. And no one took my agency away. I went to BYU knowing exactly what I was agreeing to and I used my agency to agree to that. No one took it from me. If anyone feels like they're giving up their agency to go to BYU, then I agree that they shouldn't go there.

  • Jumpyman Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 19, 2013 7:50 p.m.

    The Brandon Davies incident was only shameful in that it probably cost BYU a National Championship in basketball (which I would argue was honorable rather than shameful). That is of course speculative, but remember that BYU lost to Florida in Overtime, who them lost to Butler (or UCONN) in overtime. So if Davies could help BYU with 2 or 3 more points, they could have made it to the finals. But because BYU stuck to their principles, they came out on top despite losing a national championship.

  • From Ted's Head Orem, UT
    Sept. 19, 2013 7:09 p.m.

    Honor Code violation could be any number of things and to infer which one would be inappropriate. Aggie238, do you have some inside info on which of Hadley's foibles are being trotted out in this circumstance? just looked the othe

  • technonerd7 orem, ut
    Sept. 19, 2013 6:59 p.m.


    What you forget is that ALL Athletes and NON-Athletes all agree to the honor code. BEFORE they can attend. LDS or NON-LDS. You know what you are signing up for. Brandon Davies you say was a shameful example of how to handle it. But you are looking at it, in my opinion, from an ANTI-BYU and possibly ANTI-LDS viewpoint. Brandon Davies did something against the honor code, admitted it, BYU said he broke honor code and left it at that. The national media chased the rabbit. Brandon took the opportunity to grow and return and become a better person. If a player goes from starter to not playing, any university has the responsibility to let the public know something. If you dislike the way they handle it, by all means, ignore BYU, and all that comes with it. Don't read BYU articles, don't listen to BYU media stories, etc.

  • Scott Farcus Beaver, UT
    Sept. 19, 2013 6:58 p.m.

    Rock, well written.

    "By announcing Hadley’s honor code violation, BYU made him accountable."

    That is what is lacking in society today "accountability."

    Kudos down South

  • Guam_Bomb BARRIGADA, GU
    Sept. 19, 2013 6:45 p.m.

    This is why I am encouraging my children and nieces and nephews to attend other schools. I want my kids to live by the principles contained in the honor code, but I don't want them to be coerced into doing it. Even more importantly, I have a hard time justifying the consequences for a moral mistake to the consequences that could come from an honor code violation.

    For me the punishment doesn't fit the crime. Being embarrassed in the media and missing five games seems a bit excessive. Likewise, I would want my child to be subjected to lose scholarships or be kicked out of school for having a beer.

    I don't disagree with BYU's right to promulgate their honor code, or their right to enforce it with students who have signed a contract to live by it. I just question The wisdom of giving up that amount of agency to any entity.

  • LivinLarge Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 19, 2013 6:32 p.m.

    Hadley was good but not a star. His position will be filled by another capable player and BYU will likely win another game against Utah. My advice to BYU athletes, don't do dumb things!

  • Res Novae Ashburn, VA
    Sept. 19, 2013 6:29 p.m.

    Aggie238 - "The Brandon Davies incident was an even more shameful example."

    And even more shameful were the taunts hurled at Davies by the student section in Logan, many of them LDS. If I was an Aggie fan, I'd stay off the radar when it comes to using Davies to "trot out a person's personal foibles."

  • earthquakejake Logan, UT
    Sept. 19, 2013 6:29 p.m.

    I'm amazed at deseret news for some of the comments that get denied on here.

  • NevadaCoug Overton, NV
    Sept. 19, 2013 6:19 p.m.

    Aggie238: you missed the point. The institution has NEVER "trot(ted) out a person's personal foibles." Nor has the institution ever "impl(ied) the nature of their personal mistakes for its own self-aggrandizement." The institution has simply stated that a player has been suspended for an Honor Code violation. Others have then dug up the dirty details.

    What's your beef with BYU that causes you to misrepresent the facts?
    And how is BYU saying he is suspended for an Honor Code violation really any different than if it had been for "violating team (or university) rules?" You know, like every other team in the nation does?

  • Sports Are Great Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 19, 2013 6:17 p.m.

    VAAggie, Do you know who the chairman of the board of BYU is? A man named Thomas Monson. Trust me, if he wanted something important changed at BYU, he would change it. If you disagree with him that is certainly your right, but for me and my house, we'll trust President Monson knows that he is doing.

  • Aggie238 Logan, UT
    Sept. 19, 2013 5:25 p.m.

    "Because BYU would have missed out on reiterating its message."

    But instead, it chooses to put its "message" (whatever it is) ahead of what might be good for a person. This is decidedly antithetical to LDS doctrine outside of Provo. It is understood that when a person plays for a team, they will be subjected to some degree of public scrutiny for good or ill, but that doesn't give the institution license to trot out a person's personal foibles, or to imply the nature of their personal mistakes for its own self-aggrandizement. The Brandon Davies incident was an even more shameful example.

  • Cleanliness Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 19, 2013 5:12 p.m.

    I think this article really touches on BYU's intent. When you play for a sports team, you decide to at times place yourself in the public eye to a certain degree. The crime against privacy and compassion is committed by the comment boards, not BYU. When we speculate about what happened, we are the ones guilty of gossip and judging.