Dick Harmon: BYU's decision to alter its honor code media policy was long overdue

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  • UteMiguel Go Utes, CA
    Feb. 27, 2014 10:50 p.m.

    For once I completely agree with Mr. Harmon. This was the right move by BYU and long overdue.

  • niners SAINT GEORGE, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 10:32 p.m.

    This is a good move by BYU. The problem is, now that they used to go public with honor code violations (bad idea) now everyone will just assume any suspended athlete violated the honor code, the rest is left up to their imagination. For the long run this is a good idea, but short term athletes that are suspended will get labeled as honor code violators.

  • FDRfan Sugar City, ID
    Feb. 27, 2014 8:45 p.m.

    I think we all agree that student athletes should be given the same compassion, understanding and forgiveness as any other student but it seems as if you are saying that if the change had been made before the basketball scandal BYU would maybe would have been a higher seed and perhaps a final 4 team. BYU got a lot of respect for its commitment to honor over athletics and now you seem to be saying it should have been handled differently and that the player should have remained on the team for the good of the school. Selling souls for the sake of winning is not a new idea.

  • Oatmeal Woods Cross, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 4:49 p.m.

    I'd love it if reporters asked about BYU athletes' personal issues and the coaches responded, "That's none of your business." Teachers, coaches and professors are in the business of building and protecting, not destroying the long-term reputations of students and student-athletes.

    Our country has sacrificed privacy in so many ways. We all should step in and shut down the media frenzies, "reality" tv, etc.

  • Obama10 SYRACUSE, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 3:05 p.m.

    Good change. About time. BYU doesn't comment on other students honor code violations, why should they with the athlete. I know you can make the claim that they are public figures, but that is a stretch. These are 18-24 year old kids at college. We were all dumb and stupid back then, and should have more compassion. Glad for the change.

  • Alterego Harrisville, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 2:33 p.m.

    This won't change anything as far as the media is concerned. Agree with everything Duckhunter posted above.

  • greatbam22 andrews afb, MD
    Feb. 27, 2014 2:28 p.m.

    This is very good news indeed. As most of the other posters have said in essence that just because someone has the label of an Athlete it doesn't mean that they should be treated differently in regards to the honor code.

    Treated differently specifically meaning that they shouldn't have their sins (private problems) given explanation to the media. Student Athletes generally work hard in order to get their scholarships so why should have be punished excessively when they foul up?

    No one else gets punished excessively when they make a honor code violation. If we likened this to the real world it would be like getting a ticket and then the officer asks you "Are you a BYU Athlete?, Oh, you are? well in that case you get double the fine!"

    There is a song at the beginning of the movie gone in sixty seconds that goes "Ain't nobody know my troubles but..GWOD"

  • Eliyahu Pleasant Grove, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 11:38 a.m.

    While I've long argued that athletics are given way too much importance in schools and universities, and that the focus of education should be on academics and not adults playing children's games, those who participate in them should still be given the same respect and right to privacy as everyone else on campus. We don't hear about John Jones, an English major, being disciplined for violations or Mary Smith, in the math department, being called on the carpet for screwing up, so why should athletes be treated any differently? Unless the student does something that involves the police and courts, it's none of our business.

  • pumpkin Huntington, Utah
    Feb. 27, 2014 11:21 a.m.

    pamper the sweet little babies. athletics must never seem to be sullied. oh my.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 11:10 a.m.

    This is simply a matter of protecting the students privacy and doing everything possible to help them work through their mistakes privately. Other universities have been doing this for a long time and I'm glad BYU finally saw the value in it. Nothing is gained by making a spectacle of an athlete's mistake. This actually is an effort to put the athletes more on par with the other students, whose mistakes don't get paraded in front of the world. Because of their high profile, there will always be more interest in them than the average student, but the university can help sheild them by not disclosing the details.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Feb. 27, 2014 10:25 a.m.

    I would join those who believe this policy is long overdue. I'm frankly surprised that BYU had ever entertained questions about "honor code violations." As Dick points out, every other school simply says its a "violation of team rules" which is a genteel way of saying "none of your business."

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 9:43 a.m.

    Honestly this isn't even an issue of BYU publicizing this stuff, this is 100% on the media. They are the ones that dig around to find out exactly what the kid did and they are the ones that publish, or broadcast, it. BYU itself is in a tough situation because the media isn't going to simply accept the simple explanation that "team rules were broken". So while this is the right thing for BYU to do ultimately it will not make a bit of difference as far as these things being publicized in the media. If media types are offended by it they have no one to blame but themselves, they are the culprits.

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 9:30 a.m.

    We don't excommunicate young adults from the church...especially repentant ones.

    Then why are we still kicking them out of college?

    Unintentionally, we've created a culture of "busting" our neighbor at BYU or "paying" for our sins. Last time I checked, someone else "paid" for our sins.

    Grace is a good thing, folks. A very good thing...

  • Ethel Home Town USA, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 9:26 a.m.

    "Many in the national media certainly touted that. BYU “stuck to its guns,” but offenders were run over — then backed over again."

    And so. . . isn't rehashing this whole thing basically (backing over them again) with past athletes violations of the honor code opening up what BYU claims to be discontinued in the future? There is irony here too discussing the violations of past athletes all over again to make a point.

    I am appalled by the article pointing out what BYU is trying to ameliorate regarding athletes past behaviors. They have rights of privacy just as much now if not more.

  • AZguy Phoenix, AZ
    Feb. 27, 2014 8:49 a.m.

    Thanks for this article. I was ticked off that BYU even mentioned honor code violations. I now understand why BYU was doing that to begin with - ala making nice with the media.

    I go back and forth about the two exceptions. On the matter of public record I say let the public record be the only record and that BYU should not comments.

    On the 2nd about an athlete taking something public, that is harder. My thought is that BYU should not have any comment unless BYU is being unduly disparaged or if the truth is not being told. But, that gets into gray area.

  • Magna Ute Fan Magna, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 8:25 a.m.

    Good move BYU. The athletes deserve their privacy respected as far as it is possible in this digital age.

    We Americans are throwing privacy overboard at a truly alarming rate. I believe we will all rue the day that we happily gave away our American rights.

  • Rikitikitavi Cardston, Alberta
    Feb. 27, 2014 8:11 a.m.

    No cover-up... no lies ...simply no comment except violation of team rules end of story and by the way..it truly is none of anyone's business! To avoid leaks, the fewer people who are involved the better. Speculate if your small tabloid mind insists on speculating, but again no further comment.

  • Ed Grady Idaho Falls, ID
    Feb. 27, 2014 7:53 a.m.

    "Within hours, a Utah newspaper announced to the world...."

    Gee - I wonder what Utah newspaper that might have been. Probably the same one that goes out of its way to embarrass BYU athletes.

  • Lolly Lehi, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 7:39 a.m.

    This is a similar policy to the change in the LDS excommunication announcement process which had hurt others as much as the person who had the problem in the same way as this article states. The only problem still is the media and a delving reporter trying to make headlines on speculation and probably we could say to embarrass the school. Other schools do not have this problem, since with an announcement of an infraction, nothing more is said.

    The BYU honor code remains and is not changed but love and concern for those involved increases with this change.

  • evansrichdm west jordan , UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 7:17 a.m.

    Totally agree with this, it is private matter that should be kept private. The other studnets at the Y do not have their mistake boradcasted all over the school grounds or in the media.

  • FDRfan Sugar City, ID
    Feb. 27, 2014 7:04 a.m.

    Are we setting up to cover up?

  • Austin Coug Pflugerville, TX
    Feb. 27, 2014 7:03 a.m.


    Nothing has changed except BYU won't callout "honor code violations" and will merely leave it more general like violoation of team rooms. This has nothing to do with athletes being more important than honor. The punishment will still be the same. I think it is a good move but i am not sure how much it will change the media from digging to find out the scoop anyway.

  • 483bzac West Valley City, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 6:57 a.m.

    They should not have made this public either. The media will still figure it out. Someone will know an athlete hasn't missed any practices/violated team work rules and there will still be the speculation that someone slept with their girl/boy friend. Hopefully, no athlete has a vindictive roommate or girlfriend causing one mistake to mar them for life. These are super high prices to pay. Why do we still remember Brandon Davis or Harvey Unga? What if they were to attend your ward on Sunday? Everyone would be thinking... We can be so unforgiving, unlike the Savior. But this new policy is better. I will take what I can get.

  • Laurels Sandy, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 6:53 a.m.

    For athletes at BYU, any honor code violation is breaking team rules. To respond in that manner to the media is accurate while at the same time protects the privacy of the athlete. The school and the coaches do not owe the media and the public any information beyond that.

    If the honor code violation is public record, e.g. involves a police arrest, then the media has access to those public records. If the athlete provides details to the media...well, that is his/her choice.

    BYU is not changing its honor code, and its athletes are not being exempted from it. Its athletes will continue to be held accountable for any violations, along with any punishment that accompanies those violations.

    The athletes are not being placed above the honor code as an earlier poster suggests.

  • Seposm Evanston, WY
    Feb. 27, 2014 6:47 a.m.

    Hutterite - "Are the athletes more important than the honour?"

    No, they will still face the same exact disciplinary results, the only difference is rather than being honestly blunt about the infractions, the school will simply say no comment. It simply brings them back to the level of any other student on campus who slips up. Their misdeeds aren't broadcast to the world. The are handled discretely between those who need to be involved. You as a member f the public do not have a "Right to know" and do not need to be involved. If the student wishes to speak out about his struggle, then he is welcome to.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    Feb. 27, 2014 6:02 a.m.

    Close, but still need to wipe out the remaining 2 exceptions. There should be NO exceptions - let the athletes and their families be the ONLY ones that speak for their issues. You wouldn't want BYU or anyone else speaking about your kid's issues in the public arena.

    Imagine if your Bishop were to comment on any legal issues that impacted your membership. It just would never, ever happen. BYU should be no different.

  • BU52 Provo, ut
    Feb. 27, 2014 5:56 a.m.


  • K Mchenry, IL
    Feb. 27, 2014 5:48 a.m.

    But any other coach wouldn't say they are gone cause admitted they had done more than hold hands or had a beer last night, or wore flip flops or whatever infringement occured. Why would BYU think a lie is better way to handle an honor code dismissal? Can't they say it's an honor code issue and not say what honor code issue it is? Sounds like they are more concerned about their image more than the athletes. Sounds more like hiding the number of dismissals due to honor code so it's honor code isn't criticized.

    Feb. 26, 2014 11:28 p.m.

    No Hutterite Athletes are not more important than honor - but people are important and their dignity is important and honor does not always demand that we air our mistakes in public. Honor includes the protection of peoples privacy and their personal conditions.

    Perhaps there are some who are comfortable telling everyone about all their mistakes - I suggest that gossip and curiosity are not honorable.

    Respect, discretion and love are. A young man or woman makes a mistake does not entitle the world to know the details.

  • Sports Are Great Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 11:13 p.m.

    It was never the honor code that detailed what the players did. Even if byu's official position had been a violation of team rules, the media still would have detailed the infraction. So while this may seem very different, the end result will be the same. The media found out why Hadley was suspended with the help of typical ute "fans" and blechen's errors(multiple failed drug tests) detailed by the media even though the official statement per Utah was a violation of team rules.

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    Feb. 26, 2014 11:08 p.m.

    Extremely well researched and well written. Reflects my sentiments exactly. But some of your colleagues at DN take an opposing position as evinced by some articles that came out during the Hadley incident.
    Thanks for your analysis of the issue, especially the legal aspect, something I hadn't fully considered.

  • Elk Hair Caddis Sandy, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 9:59 p.m.

    Good to hear. Many have hoped this change would be made. What good ever came out of tearing someone down in public. Not good for the individuals involved, the school, or the families.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 9:45 p.m.

    Are the athletes more important than the honour?