BYU AD Tom Holmoe says school won't comment on honor code violations anymore

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  • Scores Idaho Falls, ID
    Feb. 26, 2014 8:23 p.m.

    A violation of team rules could be: Being late for practice so many times. Being absent for team meetings with no excuse. Not attending classes. Getting poor grades. I'm sure there must be a relatively large grocery list of things that translate to the violation of team rules. And, the honor code violations are also part of the team rules. It's just that everybody thinks honor code when it could be something entirely different. And why would the university even want to make a comment on it anyways? It's really NOYB!

  • Uncle Rico Provo, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 6:58 p.m.

    Re:Reno Cougs Fan 68

    I haven't heard anything of this, but say somehow you are right and Michigan does buy out Utah, and does not play at RES in 2015.

    In 2015 Utah still would have home games against: Arizona State, UCLA, Oregon State, and Washington.

    You must be a little bitter that BYU went to South Bend 2 years in a row and Notre Dame hasn't scheduled a return trip to Provo.
    (Michigan has a date with Utah at RES, (they may get out of it, but a date is better than what BYU has with ND coming to Provo (no scheduled date)).

    Feb. 26, 2014 6:26 p.m.

    Regarding the article - I love to take an occasional shot at Holmoe but in this case completely agree with his decision. Simply state the player violated a rule and nothing else.

    Just like every other U or Y article, some fans from the other school will make valid comments and others will take cheap shots. In reply some posters will take more cheap shots and claim they are justified because the other side 'started it'. I thoroughly enjoy the good natured banter but most of the posts go far beyond that.

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 6:22 p.m.


  • Gojo Mojo Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 6:22 p.m.


  • let's roll LEHI, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 6:18 p.m.

    A couple of commenters seem to interpret Holmoe's statement to indicate there will be a different approach to handling discipline for Honor Code violations. I don't see that in his statement at all. No indication that the coach or anyone else will be more involved in the process or have any input in the result or that there is any other change in the methodology.

    Instead, the only change is with respect to what public statement will (or won't) be made.

    BTW, if I were a coach, I wouldn't use the term "violation of team rules" regardless of whether the infraction was a violation of team rules or an Honor Code violation. I would say only that the athlete "is currently ineligible to participate."

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 6:09 p.m.


    Many schools have team rules that mirror the honor code. Those rules are for the team and not the general student population. They just don't parade them in public. Also, many secular schools have a Code of Conduct that the general student population must abide by in order to stay enrolled. These rules go well beyond just living within the civil law.

  • Chris B. 4 Prez! Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 6:05 p.m.

    “I’d like to continue (scheduling) with the Pac-12 because that’s where our biggest fan base is,” Holmoe said. “Travel is better. But we’d be remiss if we didn’t take the opportunities to play across the country. I’d always start in the Pac-12, and go from there.”

    PAC-12 - where byu's biggest fan base is. I hope they schedule as many PAC-12 games as possible, so as to squash the "we've beaten more PAC-12 schools than you have" spin, after experiencing first-hand what playing premium competition is really like.

    If you ask me, Holmoe wants to schedule as many PAC-12 games, because if you can't beat 'em, try and join them in your own minds!

  • Wookie Omaha, NE
    Feb. 26, 2014 5:04 p.m.

    Idablu, you ask why? I ask why not? Is not the honor code an obligation that each student is required to follow in order to attend BYU? As for explaining what the Honor Code violation was, the public has no right to know and quite frankly no one needs to know that there was an honor code violation to begin with, but, unfortunately, that is not the life of an athlete. To claim it was in violation of team rules seems to be covering up what it really was; an honor code violation. I would assume that with this change BYU may be considering changing their honor code to Honor Code/Team Rules and for the general student body; School Rules. Again, this is my opinion, right or wrong it is what it is.

    GO UTES!!

  • Wookie Omaha, NE
    Feb. 26, 2014 4:16 p.m.

    Dutchman, find me a DIV I school like BYU in the USA that has an honor code with the same prohibitions?

    It cheapens the Honor Code in my opinion by using a play of words and becoming more like the world.

    GO UTES!!

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    Feb. 26, 2014 4:02 p.m.

    Parading the HC is prideful, in my opinion, a sin in it's own right. That is why I applaud this change in policy.

  • Perkunas Ashburn, VA
    Feb. 26, 2014 3:45 p.m.

    Thanks, Ed Grady. Alas, someone had a change of heart.

    Tough to have a grasp on what's considered off topic when studying some of the comments that are allowed through. And people think the Honor Code Office has a heavy hand!

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    Feb. 26, 2014 3:29 p.m.

    Tell me wookie, why does the public need to know there was an Honor Code violation in the suspension of an athlete?
    Should the University/Honor Code Office make a press release for every student who violates the Honor Code?
    Violation of Team Rules may or may not include an Honor Code violation, but that is NONE OF THE PUBLIC'S BUSINESS.
    Granted, there is a chance that "HC violation" might get leaked, but it definitely should not come from the University or one of its representatives. Other Universities have certainly shown discretion in protecting the privacy of student athletes who undergo discipline. Why can't BYU?
    BYU is rightfully proud of their Honor Code but to publicly slap the scarlet "HC" on a high profile transgressor is just plain wrong!

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 3:21 p.m.

    So some on this board want to keep the violations policy as it was because it cheapens the Honor Code and makes BYU less different than other schools by simply stating "Violation of Team Rules". My question, how do you know that a "violation of team rules" at another school didn't mirror a BYU honor code violation? You don't. BYU is a great place but it doesn't have a monopoly on moral charachter when it comes to a violation of team rules at other schools.

  • BleedCougarBlue Enid, OK
    Feb. 26, 2014 3:15 p.m.

    BYU tries to discretely answers questions about an athlete's honor code violations and we get criticized.

    BYU says it will no longer answer questions about an athlete's honor code violations and we get criticized.

    Go figure....

  • Wookie Omaha, NE
    Feb. 26, 2014 2:08 p.m.

    How many BYU fans applauded the press coverage received last year for the positive light that was shed on the Y and its handling of Hadley? The irony here is interesting. I agree with the statement earlier that the truth is the truth and leave it at that. This to me is a way of mixing words and crafting it in a way that doesn't represent what has happened. The breach of privacy as to what happened to the student athlete in Davies case was sad. Is it controversial to say that this change occured due to the increased number of non-LDS football recruits coming next year?

    GO UTES!!

  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 1:48 p.m.

    Kudos to BYU for finally arriving at this needful change for honor code violations. This new policy reflecs a more sensitive and reasonable approach to handling these situations. Many folks felt the "public flogging" approach taken previously was flawed in many respects and did a disservice to the high profile student althlets. I certainly commend Tom Holmoe and the BYU Administration for reviewing and modifying the past practices that were counter productive for all concerned.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    Feb. 26, 2014 12:48 p.m.

    @81 Ute

    Your post is puzzling. Seriously, no more games? How about we keep the games and learn to be GOOD SPORTS?!!

    When your kids bicker, do you send them to their rooms for time out or do you separate them for life?

  • XelaDave Salem, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 12:32 p.m.

    In the age of social media and cameras everywhere a policy like this or any other has no real meaning and in fact may serve to fuel even greater speculation which helps no one- when do you remember the last time an athlete was suspended at BYU or the U and we had no understanding as to why- we generally know all the details as soon as the school or even prior to that- this boat has sailed and all universities can do is try and manage it as best as they can- we will see if this approach helps but I doubt it will

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    Feb. 26, 2014 11:26 a.m.

    Holmoe said that future schedules will be as strong as the 2013 schedule, “if not stronger," adding that, “We need to get stronger to be able to play that kind of schedule.”


    That might be true, but as of today 2015 doesn't look that much better then 2014 with 2 games still unscheduled.

    2015 Schedule: 2 Big Ten teams, 2 AAC, 5 MWC, 1 CUSA

    Nearly, half the schedule is made of MWC teams (8 non-Big 5 teams).

  • Reno Cougs Fan 68 Reno, NV
    Feb. 26, 2014 11:19 a.m.

    81 Ute and other BYU haters,
    Why do you even care or feel the need to comment on the strength or weakness of BYU's 2014 football schedule? BYU and Utah do not play each other in 2014 or 2015 so it in no way affects the SOS of Utah!!! At least BYU and their fans are honest in the fact that BYU and Utah are rivals and always will be, that is why we are still willing to schedule Utah in as many sports and other activities a you will agree to!!! The funny part of all this is that Utah will probably miss out on an invite to the Big Dance because of a weak non-conference schedule this year!!! Could it be that our brothers up on the hill are looking out for their younger brother down south??? Who will Utah replace Michigan with when they buy out the game in SLC in 2015?

    Go Cougs!!! Rise Up!!!

  • Silent Lurker Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 11:18 a.m.

    I agree with you whole heartily. Since 1993 the Utes have taken byu to the woodshed thirteen of the last twenty times. Including the last four in a row. Yes you dominated losing by 57-37-4 all time.So please get your fan base to stop begging for more football games with Utah.

  • Ifel Of'a-sofa Alpine, Utah
    Feb. 26, 2014 11:14 a.m.

    This decision makes a lot of sense, and sounds like a good thing, with one problem:

    Is an Honor Code Violation, and Violating Team Rules the same thing? If not then don't say it.

    If you can violate team rules and be suspended from the team and still not break the honor code, then don't try to downplay an offense and say its a team rules issue, if it was an honor code issue.

    Either say NOTHING at all, or speak the truth.

  • Ed Grady Idaho Falls, ID
    Feb. 26, 2014 11:01 a.m.

    "Don't worry, the Utah compliance office is more than willing to pick up the slack! ;)"

    You said exactly what I wanted to say, but I thought it be censored. Let's not forget the sportswriters at the SL Trib. They love nothing better than to embarrass BYU athletes.

  • LouisD Las Vegas, NV
    Feb. 26, 2014 11:00 a.m.

    I agree with Tom's assesments. I also like the WCC for BYU. I would like to see the WCC improve it's basketball officiating which I think is simply terrible and not necessarily favorable to any particular team. It's just really bad and there seems to be a trend to see officiating often inappropriately favor home teams rather than call them from a completely neutral perspective. It doesn't matter whether I watch a BYU vs anyone game or any other two WCC programs. The basketball officiating is simply awful and that is a disservice to the teams that may move on to tournament play post season. Four WCC teams will likely play in the post season at some level (NCAA or NIT): BYU, Gonzaga, Saint Mary's and San Francisco. Those teams and all others in conference deserve better officials. Other than that, I like Independence and the direction Tom is taking BYU. I am still not sold on Dave Rose as a future Dean Smith. Rose has achieved a remarkable W/L record, but he loses too many games he could have won. Mendenhall is similarly adjudicated in my book.

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    Feb. 26, 2014 10:30 a.m.

    Bravo! bravo! regarding the Honor Code Policy. I have been pushing for this for years. This is the right decision and it is the best for the kids, no question. "Violation of team rules" is all that needs to be stated.

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    Feb. 26, 2014 10:22 a.m.

    @Cougar Passion

    Never mind that BYU's national championship led directly to the Bowl Coalition/Bowl Alliance. Never mind that the later snubbing of #5 BYU led to the formalized rules requiring teams in such a position to be included in the subsequently-formed BCS.


    Yes, BYU helped create the BCS. It was Utah that helped to take it down.

    Prior to 2004, a mid-major team had to finish in the BCS top 6 for a BCS bowl. Utah was the ONLY team to achieve that, afterwards rules were changed to be more inclusive.
    BYU has NEVER finished #5 in BCS rankings.

    BYU helped build walls, which Utah helped to take down with the help of TCU and Boise.

    This did not help bring down the BCS:

    * No undefeated seasons in the BCS era
    * No BCS bowls
    * No BCS Bowl wins
    * No top 10 finishes (Utah 2, TCU 4)
    * Losing record against BCS teams
    * Losing record against top-mid majors (3-9 vs. Utah, 2-5 vs. TCU, and 1-3 vs. Boise)
    * Losing record against PAC-12 teams in the BCS era (12-14)
    * 62% of BM’s total wins were against teams with a losing record

  • LivinLarge Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 10:18 a.m.

    I agree with Holmoe 100%. These matters are between school administrators and the athlete in question.

  • Wookie Omaha, NE
    Feb. 26, 2014 10:12 a.m.

    Just my two cents. I appreciate that the Y states that the student has violated the honor code. This is what I believe has set BYU apart from other schools. Disclosing more than that is not anyone elses business aside from God, the student athlete, their church leader(s) and BYU. I think that stating its a violation of team rules lessens the Honor Code Violation that has received positive press over the years. Hadley hung himself going into a public location where he could be viewed. As for Davies, nothing more needed to be said about what led to his situation. Gossip led to his privacy breach. I think this is a bad decision if you ask me, its what sets BYU apart from other school.

    Go UTES!!

  • donn layton, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 10:01 a.m.

    RE: Thid Barker, We are supposed to confess our OWN sins, not other people's sins. Therefore this is an excellent move?

    Open confession. In Mt. 18:15, we read, "Moreover, if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone. If he shall hear thee, thou hast gained a brother."
    All responsibility toward men can be fulfilled by letting one person know of our repentance if our trespass is against one, and only one knows of it.

    In Gal. 2:12, we are told that Peter sinned before all; Paul rebuked him before all (Gal. 2:14). Could Peter's confession have been less than before all to be effective?

    When a sin is carried before the (team)church (Mt. 18:17), should not the(team) church also be informed of the repentance?

  • CougarSunDevil Phoenix, AZ
    Feb. 26, 2014 9:59 a.m.

    81 Ute

    "Maybe the first topic of discussion for your new 'members', scratch that 'cougars only' forum would be a serious discussion about how poor the 2014 schedule really is."

    Yeah, great idea. However, we would undoubtedly have to include Utah in the forum because #1, they just can't leave us alone, and #2, your basketball program wrote the book on the subject. So it would be a waste of time. Thanks for loving BYU so much as to comment on our articles!!!!

  • gharmons Helendale, CA
    Feb. 26, 2014 9:47 a.m.

    Though I cheer for almost any team playing the Utes, I get tired of the sniping by both sides. BYU fans should be above all that, just as the BYU Honor Code expects student conduct to be above that of the students of other schools. If these comments were "all in good fun," that would be different, but many clearly are not.

  • LoveTheKittens Central, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 9:40 a.m.


    Don't tell me, tell Mr. Holmoe and Coach Mendenhall.

  • BYU9293 Clinton, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 9:34 a.m.

    Cougar Passion, great response, I love it. You are so right and hit the nail right on the head.

    To 81Ute,
    I would love to see byu stop playing Utah in all sports, I wanted that when I played in 92 and 93. Utah was never a rival to us, they were nobody and we hated playing them because we gained nothing. No matter how big we had beat them (in previous years), we were supposed to and the margin was never large enough and if we lost, as we did, then we were horrible. To us, our rivals were the teams in contention for the conference crown and that was not Utah, period. I feel the same way now. I wish we would never play them in anything, it is not good for byu.

  • 81Ute Central, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 9:23 a.m.


    I will gladly move on when there are no more athletic contests between the schools. So, do your part and write a letter to Mr. Holmoe and ask him to avoid games/meets/etc with the U. Then get all of your like minded cougs to do the same.

  • 81Ute Central, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 9:15 a.m.

    Maybe you should start a members only forum? This is a newspapers comment section and you do not need to prove any loyalty to post here.

    Maybe the first topic of discussion for your new 'members', scratch that 'cougars only' forum would be a serious discussion about how poor the 2014 schedule really is.

  • 2020 Herriman, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 9:00 a.m.

    People need to realize that the honor code at BYU is actually a higher standard than that of the LDS church. I will not get kicked out of the church for committing transgressions that are also against BYUs honor code. A student at BYU signs his or her name and commits to living according to the honor code. If they violate the honor code, they will face discipline, which may include getting kicked out of school. There are no surprises. If a student, an athlete or not, does not want to answer questions as to why they get kicked out of BYU, don't violate the honor code that you committed to live by!

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Feb. 26, 2014 8:38 a.m.

    DonO. What does "holier than thou" mean? Can a student or athlete at the U of U, Utah State or any other school be "holier than thou" or is that reserved for people associated with BYU?

  • DonO Draper, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 8:21 a.m.

    It's about time BYU started handling player discipline the way every other school in the country does. "Violation of team rules" is sufficient public comment. Bringing up the whole "honor code" thing leaves the impression that the suspended player is some kind of moral leper. IMO, this is a good first step in helping BYU shed its "holier than thou" attitude and image.

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    Feb. 26, 2014 8:15 a.m.

    We are supposed to confess our OWN sins, not other people's sins. Therefore this is an excellent move!

  • Cougar Passion Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 7:52 a.m.

    I find it hilarious that some get bothered by BYU talking about aspirations for a national championship and want to disparage them because they haven't formally won a BCS game. Never mind that BYU's national championship led directly to the Bowl Coalition/Bowl Alliance. Never mind that the later snubbing of #5 BYU led to the formalized rules requiring teams in such a position to be included in the subsequently-formed BCS. Never mind that the Cotton Bowl which BYU won was the same level of game that would be included in the BCS now. These are all inconvenient truths for some who aren't interested in thinking very much but are interested in wasting their time being the first to comment on a rival's article.

    And, frankly, I will happily take a school who, because of history and the unique ability based on affiliation to occasionally compete with top schools for recruits, can legitimately talk about trying for another national championship. Yes, things have to fall into place for a special season, but that isn't even a consideration for most other schools around the country, including the vast majority who derive their identity from conference membership.

  • Thinkman Provo, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 7:42 a.m.

    Best decision I've heard out of BYU on the honor code ever.

    Treating "honor code violations" as a violation of team rules is the right way to go and let the coach decide what if any punishment should be given for any rule violation.

    Indiscretions are private and should be only between the student and his God. If the student broke the law, then yes, I can see the honor code office and University spokespersons getting involved, but not if it is a personal matter.

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    Feb. 26, 2014 6:57 a.m.

    Non-Athlete students don't get their name drug through the media when they make a mistake. Why should an athlete not be afforded the same right to confidentiality?

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    Feb. 26, 2014 4:42 a.m.

    This is a step in the right direction. However, I think BYU should still make "No Comment" even when the case is in the public record or the student athlete has gone public. It is always best to have the student making the comments and not BYU. Think about it, folks, if it were your son or daughter. You'd still want to be in control of the news.

    I applaud Holmoe overall for doing a good job with a tough situation. I'm glad we left the MWC, disappointed we couldn't have gone to a better conference. BCS wins could have helped us make a better case, so we shot ourselves in the foot by not doing what Utah, Boise and TCU did. But independence is the next best thing and I like that we are still trying to build a national brand by playing all over the country against good programs. It's not easy to schedule seasons like 2013.

    And I continue to be amazed by the obsession of Ute fans who say they have moved on but can't get over all things BYU. Please, Ute fans, MOVE ON!

  • Arizona1 Tucson, AZ
    Feb. 25, 2014 11:27 p.m.

    I have been a BYU fan all my life, but when it comes to spending exorbitant amounts on new facilities and giving athletes special treatment, I am opposed to such a move. I've been a university teacher in a power conference for a number of years. On one occasion I caught a football player cheating on the final exam--just before a bowl game. When I reported it, I was told that it was my word against his and unless he admitted to cheating, nothing could be done about it. While I don't think that will happen at BYU, I do think that it is very likely that BYU could possibly lose sight of some of its main missions if it feels it has to create facilities that will match those in "power conferences" so that student athletes can live an opulent, pampered lifestyle.

  • Ed Grady Idaho Falls, ID
    Feb. 25, 2014 10:26 p.m.

    "In the future, if a student-athlete violates the honor code and is unable to compete, coaches will likely refer to the situation as a “violation of team rules” and leave it at that, Holmoe said."

    Perfect - it's about time.

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 25, 2014 9:49 p.m.

    It's nobody's business.

    This should have happened years ago. I applaud BYU for realizing that the moral shortcomings of individuals are not the business of anybody but the person trying to repent and church leaders, if even necessary.

    The next step is to not kick people out of school, or off teams, who initiate the repentance process and who are wanting to to make amends. That one may take time.

  • CougarSunDevil Phoenix, AZ
    Feb. 25, 2014 9:44 p.m.

    Lastly, if we can somehow limit the podium time given to BYU haters and Ute trolls, so we don't have to hear their constant barrage of unrelated and constant bickering, then we could all enjoy diologue time. Until that time, I give you Riley m . Back talk, et al.

  • Riley Mendenhall Provo, UT
    Feb. 25, 2014 9:25 p.m.

    Is being honest part of the honor code?
    If so Holmoe has violated this. Lying and misguiding cougarnation into going independent and then producing the worst schedule in years (if not ever).
    2014 BYU football schedule is embarrassing.

  • Ghost Writer GILBERT, AZ
    Feb. 25, 2014 9:21 p.m.

    I think when there has been an HC violation, the school always has had good intentions to keep things confidential, but with today's media it seems that some reporter, or some blogger somehow always finds a "friend" or someone inside who knows the details, and then the media is flooded with the personal, tabloid info. Back when Brandon showed up sitting on the bench with a shirt and tie during the tournament, seriously, how was the school not going to comment on that? The public demanded an explanation and the press didn't quit digging until they found and published one. It is noble to try to maintain confidentiality though . . .

  • Back Talk Federal Way, WA
    Feb. 25, 2014 8:54 p.m.

    Slowly but surely.

    Now lets outlaw any discussion of playing for a National Championship in football until they actually win a BCS bowl game.

    Both will be great immprovements.