Opinion ColumnsSports

From the Bleachers: Honoring a bad code is as wrong as hypocrisy

Thoughts by Ryan Kuhn on community college, sports and what not.

By Ryan Kuhn
The Guardsman

When someone brings up stories of their college experience, the stereotypical excessive drinking, meaningless sex and memories of outrageous parties are usually brought to mind.

But to a college basketball player in Provo, Utah, his memory of his first two years might be getting suspended from the basketball team not for poor grades nor breaking the law, but for having sex with his girlfriend.

Brandon Davies, a sophomore at Brigham Young University, will not be allowed to play basketball for the remainder of the season after admitting he had premarital sex, which violates the school’s honor code that every student is obligated to sign.

BYU’s honor code’s requirements include being honest, living a chaste and virtuous life, obeying the law, using clean language, respecting others, abstaining from drugs, alcohol, tobacco, coffee and tea, specific dress and grooming standards, attending church regularly and waiting until marriage to have sex.

Davies was leading the No. 3 ranked Cougars in rebounds and was third on the team in scoring.

Now, let me first give respect to the university for actually abiding by their code and taking action. Other colleges have been known to turn a blind eye to negative light that is shed on their athletes. On the other hand, taking action is one thing, but making an example of a student is another.

Religion should be a guideline or a set of rules to follow. While these rules mostly make sense, and should be highly encouraged, they should not be so strictly enforced. Besides, whose right is it to tell someone they are not allowed to dress a certain way or have a cup of coffee?

With more than 1,700 private universities in the United States, BYU, BYU-Hawaii and BYU-Idaho are the only schools that uphold a strict honor code like the one Davies broke.

Private universities that are affiliated with religious organizations (such as Notre Dame and University of San Francisco) have academic honor codes, but they don’t have lifestyle honor codes.

Katie DeChants, who works for USF’s Office of Student Conduct, Rights and Responsibilities, said it takes a lot for a student to get kicked out of the university, even when alcohol is related.

Despite being a Catholic university, USF doesn’t push views onto their students. According to the US News and World Report, USF is ranked in the top 30 for universities with cultural diversity. This shows that religious views can help a university strive in the education process but also gives students a chance to keep their own beliefs.

Someone must have reported Davies and his girlfriend to the university. But if two people decide to have sex, it should be their concern alone.

Whether or not we are judged by our way of life, there will be repercussions for the decisions we make. For Davies, we don’t know his entire story. All we know is that someone told on him and he admitted to his mistake.

The fact is, the university and his church took action, so as I sit here and sinfully sip my cup of coffee, I sincerely hope his basketball career and, more importantly, his education do not come to an end in Provo, Utah.


The Guardsman