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March 4th, 2011
10:29 AM ET

BYU Suspends Player over Honor Code Violation

Brigham Young University is kicking a star player off the men’s basketball team apparently for violating the school’s honor code by engaging in premarital sex.

Your thoughts?

Filed under: Ali Velshi • CNN Newsroom
soundoff (67 Responses)
  1. George W

    I have no problem with the suspension of the player. I am sure he had read the fine print. Maybe he thought they were not serious. This is a great lesson for all. I am a LIBERAL who says if you don't like the rules, either get them changed or go where they fit you! I think we all can agree on that point.

    March 4, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
  2. Charlie

    Rules are rules even if they are backwards.

    March 4, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
  3. Dayton

    As ridiculous as it sounds, the kid must have agreed to the honor code as part of his scholarship. That being the case you have to applaud BYU for it's stance on university beliefs and rules over winning at any cost. Maybe some other schools could take a page from their book.

    March 4, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
  4. Sagar Sharma

    Makes no sense, premarital sex has nothing to do with an athletes ability to play basketball and does not harm anyone. A player should be kicked off a team for behavioral, talent or academic issues- not for having sex.

    March 4, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
  5. Kathryn Sanderson

    I think BYU's action was appropriate. The school has an honor code that all students are expected to adhere to, and athletes are no exception. If the guy wanted to have sex and stay on the basketball team, he should have chosen a different university.

    March 4, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
  6. Cheryl from MN

    Well he should have know their school policies and if he broke one then he should pay the consequences. But if you want my personal opinion, colleges and universities have no business in your bedroom activities. That is very personal.

    March 4, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
  7. Jim Connolly

    Totally agree with the school. He let his team down . He knew the rules before he played his first game. BYU has higher standards than other colleges and should be proud of their rules and students. He let down the whole University.

    March 4, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
  8. Mike

    While it may seem to be a tough outcome for his actions and an issue that may be overlooked at many schools, he should have been aware of the consequences of his actions and it is BYU's right to uphold their code of conduct.

    March 4, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
  9. Adam

    I think BYU has a right to set up its own rules and students should have to obey them if they do not conflict with any federal or state laws. I think their rule is completely ridiculous and I bet you could kick out half the student population at BYU for similar offenses. More than anything, though, I think BYU has just shot itself in the foot when it comes to recruiting future talent.

    March 4, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
  10. Kay

    What really bugged me was the guy on CNN that said that this BYU team lost to an unranked team after this other got booted out of the university. Like that was more important than the actual news story. Who cares, if the team won or lost? The news story isn't about that, it's about an honor code that this player knowlingly signed and knowingly broke.

    March 4, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
  11. Tony

    The suspended Black basketball player's girlfriend is a white volleyball player. Is she also suspendes?!?!?! If not, why not?!?! Is racism still a factor in America (chuckle)?!?!

    March 4, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
  12. Eric

    BYU does not hide their standards for student actions. The player violated an agreement that he signed and they followed through. BYU is well within their rights and acted appropriately.

    March 4, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
  13. Susan

    Since I assume the player knew of the honor code and agreed to it, the school is correct in their actions. if he didn't agree with the BYU honor code, he should have gone to school somewhere else.

    March 4, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
  14. Tammie Tomlinson

    Are there camera's posted in campus housing also??? I hope people are taking note here how prehistoric this philosophy is! America really needs to pay attention to the very manipulative and twisted beliefs that the Mormon religion supports. Mit Romney may run for president again and I shutter to think what would happen if someone with this sort of mindset was running our country!!!

    March 4, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
  15. Paul, Anacoco Louisiana

    While this may sound like a very steep penalty for engaging in an activity that many college athletes do, students know when they go to BYU that some things simply aren't tolerated.
    BYU did not just suddenly become a Mormon college, everybody in the world knows it's Mormon and that Mormons don't believe in pre-marital sex.
    When kids go there and participate in a sport, they are told what is expected.
    I feel really bad for the athlete but more so for the team. They were a very good team and now they are suddenly very average.
    If all our colleges enforced a similar Honor Code, I think everyone would benefit.
    My children's school has a code of conduct and it keeps the kids on the straight and narrow.

    March 4, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
  16. Tim

    I find it amusing that a religious group that previously allowed for a man to take multiple wives has an issue with premarital sex.

    March 4, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
  17. Paula Vance, Plymouth MI

    The young man knew the honor code when agreeing to play for BYU. I give him credit for being honest, knowing what the consequences would be. I bet most feel that the consequences are unreasonable in this "day and age" but I say we need to expect higher moral values from our youth if we are to live in a moral society. We need more institutions like BYU!

    March 4, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
  18. Ileen

    Accountability...Consequences for your actions...seem fleeting in today's society, especially in sports. If many of the players in the NFL had been held accountable for their actions, in high school and college, may be, they wouldn't be so well acquainted with law enforcement.
    Hats off to BYU, and I hope they don't give in to the politics of college athletics and society.

    March 4, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
  19. Deborah Swearingen

    It's all about Respect and Honor. If he indeed knew it was a valation to the rules – he must pay the cost for going against the regulations. All to many times we teach our young children it's not what you do, it's who your are. I hope they hold him accountable as well as anyone that breaks the rules. The fact that he is the #1 asset to the team – he let himself down, as well as the team. He was only thinking of himself and not the game he plays as well as the requirements it expects from him to be that team player. Rules are rules and we know from the way our goverment as allowed companies in trouble to receive Bonus is the same-We have allowed them not to pay the price of breaking rules-It time to start being fair to all American and it starts with our Youth!

    March 4, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
  20. Pierre

    I feel sorry for the kid knowing he can't play ball the rest of the year and won't be able to help them succeed but he did sign and pledge to follow all the rules the university asks of every student. :e can only blame himself knowning what the potential consequences were.

    March 4, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
  21. jennifer

    I think its a terribly sad situation for Brandon and the University. I feel sorry for him that his mistake has been shared nationwide and he feels the burden of letting alot of people down. However, Brandon CHOSE to attend BYU and AGREED to live the Honor Code. In addition, I am sure the University did not want to have to discipline him, they were ranked #3 before dismissing him. It took a lot of honor for the University to stand by their standards regardless that it would ruin their run for a National Title.

    March 4, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
  22. Holly Franz

    Brandon Davies signed the honor code. He chose to dishonor it and he's suffering the consequences. As a private school, BYU has every right to enforce the honor code that all students sign.

    March 4, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
  23. Bob Slate

    Regardless of what one may think about BYU's honor code, the school is obligated to enforce it evenly and fairly. One would assume the student-athlete knew the rules before he chose to attend BYU and weighed the consequences of his actions before violating them.

    March 4, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
  24. Bobbie Brasher

    Way to go, Brigham Young U. Standards are standards and this one was broken. I wish all our university sports had such a rule.

    This story followed the one about Huckaby's comments about unwed Mothers. Though I have no time for ultra Christian Conservatives (since they give the rest of those of us in the Christian Community a bad name), I totally agree with Huckaby on every sentence in this statement.

    You really hit my hot button today. This is the first time I have ever written in, but the third item of interest was about our failing schools and how to "fix" them. In the list of solutions, the most important of all in always omitted – the student's home life. THE PARENTS MUST TAKE THE RESPONSIBILITY OR TAKE THE BLAME. When there is no foundation for responsibility, fairness, pride in good grades, respect, achievement, what can we expect? Yet, the teachers or the system are blamed. PS I am not a teacher and never have been. I just have the normal degree of intelligence and concern.

    March 4, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
  25. mohamad k yusuff

    Editor CNN:

    i was extremely surprised to learn about the ultra conservative ethical code of conduct by BYU for its students.

    simply put, BYU's ethical and moral code is based on Islam's shari'ah law–on this, there can be no doubt. the BYU code mirrors the stringent islamic blueprint in almost every respect, particularly sexual conduct.

    as an american citizen i find BYU's borrowing the shari'ah template for its students to be very distressing and alarming. the fact that this university has been following the code of the dreaded Talibans and Saudi wahhabites makes it more troublesome and unamerican!

    questuion: how many more american universities are guided by the Taliban code of conduct?

    please let me know,

    March 4, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
  26. MK

    Wow, how refreshing to see a university actually hold a student athlete responsible for his actions. And an athlete on a winning team at that! I feel bad for the kid, he didn't commit a crime, but I respect BYU's decision to not just look the other way like so many other schools with big time teams do.

    March 4, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
  27. Rudolph Solis

    Hi Ali,
    This action by the Mormons is a classic example of the confusion that is harbored and dispensed by Religion and Religionists. My Book, "A Scriptural Renaissance", just published by Westbow Press, spends time in Chapter Nine proving by the Scriptures that, what Religion refers to as 'Fornication' has absolutely nothing to do with Almighty God or His Holy Word, The Bible! Here is a group of ignorant and hypocritical people who, in direct contravention of Holy Writ, propagate and engage in Polygamy, whilst condemning this young basketball player because of what they 'think' is 'Fornication'; which is, according to the Bible applicable only to the Marriage Situation. For, when a single, unbethrothed young man has Sexual Intercourse with a single, unbethrothed young woman, all he has done, according to the Scriptures, immediately upon his penetration of her, is to make her his wife!. BYU's religion, like so many other misguided religious dogmatists, is based upon erroneous and unscriptural Roman Catholic Doctrine, concocted by these latter during the Middle Ages.
    I repeat, these young people have done NO WRONG in the sight of Almighty God! They owe no apology or confession to anyone!
    May God bless them both. All that they need to realize is that now they are man and wife before God; and any Sexual Intercourse with a third party by any one of them will constitute Adultery as long as the other is alive.

    March 4, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
  28. Linda

    Every student who goes to BYU is well aware that they have agreed to abide by the honor code which includes remaining chaste, no alcohol, smoking, or drugs, among other things. The Christian students who go there have those personal standards for themselves, want this type of experience, and know it is not "typical" . BYU is a private church university, supported by the members of the church. I am glad to know that athletes, some who are not members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, do not get a 'free pass' . BYU is an excellent college with a great environment and very high acedemic standards as well, and it is very difficult to get accepted to attend. If someone feels the rules are not for them, they should choose another school. Athletes are not above the rules! Good for BYU!

    March 4, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
  29. James Piche'

    When you agree to a code of honor of any sort in life; you MUST respect the code and circumstance that you made your promise too. I am POSITIVE that every student at BYU would a agree that they would respect the schools ruling in standing with these values. That is why students attend BYU in the first place. Most important, this event displays that BYU's standards take priority over "winning"

    We should all learn a very valuable lesson here, which is; When caring for your character, If you don't agree with what is being asked of you, whether it be peers, employers, etc., DO NOT make a promise you will not follow through with.

    March 4, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
  30. Renaldo Davis

    Wow! A society that endorses gay rights all the way up to the point of marriage but at the same time has to unfortunately recognize an innocent law abiding sports star college student get kicked out of school for having sex with his girliend. UNBELIEVEABLE!!!!!!!

    March 4, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
  31. G

    When in Rome, act like the Romans....We need to remember that this is a religious school and on top of that by attending that school, one agrees to abide by their standards. If these rules/standards are violated then one must suffer the consequences regardless of how we feel about it.

    March 4, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
  32. Jan S

    I do not necessarily agree with the rule, but if it was a rule he agreed to play under then the school had the right to enforce the rule and kick him off of the team.

    March 4, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
  33. Mickey

    If you are going to attend a school like BYU, you know the standards they expect. If you don't want to abide by those standards, then you should attend a different school.

    March 4, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
  34. Brendan

    wow, I cannot think of a more ridiculous reason for a school to loose money by throwing away their basketball players, welcome to the 21st century BYU

    March 4, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
  35. Paul Shelby

    Pitiful. .school decision...the lesson to learned here: (and all BYU students with half a brain should take note)....LIE.....

    March 4, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
  36. Matthew Weeg

    BYU did the right thing, and the basketball player, no matter how important he or you think he is, did the wrong thing. BYU has the right to establish the rules of conduct and the student, by accepting enrollment there, agrees to abide by those rules. Just because he is a "star athlete" does not give him special rights.

    March 4, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
  37. James

    I think that's pretty extreme. I mean, I understand that different religious groups have their own traditions. If they were so upset about this, maybe they could've just this player for one game – maybe 2. But to kick him off the team for good, for this. That's harsh. It's not like he did drugs or drank or was hurting anyone or committing a felony – I guess in their eyes he did.

    March 4, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
  38. Sandy - Eugene, OR

    This suspension has nothing to do with sex. It has to do with the committment he made.

    March 4, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
  39. Douglas

    It's so relieving to see someone in college sports have some honor – that principles are much more important than winning.
    Shame on Ohio St, Auburn, the SEC, the Big Ten and the NCAA who allowed players who actually broke NCAA rules to play in Bowl Games last year. I say we should fire everyone at the SEC and NCAA and replace them with BYU officials.

    March 4, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
  40. Chad

    I think it is a tough situation for both the school and for the player, but every student that attends BYU understands what the honor code entails and the consequences for breaking that code. I appreciate the fact that there are still some universities that hold up a high standard for our young adults. Unfortunately, they are few and far between.

    March 4, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
  41. Jay Thomas

    While the ruling may seem extreme, the university's policies were set in place prior to this decision. The player was aware of how his actions may affect his role and the team in general. It's refreshing to see a big time collegiate program standing by their policies instead of turning a blind eye to enhance their opportunities on the field.

    March 4, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
  42. Donna

    A deal is a deal. He knew the rules going in. That is what being an adult is all about. Admit he made a mistake and be a man-take the consequences.

    March 4, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
  43. Jay Conne

    Cinterro, It sounds like justice if that was the agreement he entered into.

    On the other hand, the sexually repressing ethic and the idea that sex is permitted only with the blessing of some authority that wants to own peoples' souls is nuts. I recommend rethinking the whole context.

    Thinking in principle, if one contracts to behave according to a code in trade for the other party to make them a member of their club, school, team, etc., then that's the terms of the agreement, even if it's a stupid one.

    March 4, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
  44. trace morgan

    We've become too quick to excuse rule violations – and that's not just in sports. We've added the terms "because" and "yes, but" to excuse personal irresponsibility.

    The point isn't whether I agree with the rules at BYU – the rules are in place and the players are aware of those rules. If you choose to violate a rule, there are consequences.

    The failure to apply consequences has weakened us as a nation. We provide excuses for break rules, we excuse bad behavior by assigning blame elsewhere.

    The two common arguments I've seen to far are these:

    "He told the truth"
    "He's their star player"

    He told the truth about breaking the rules – but he violated the rule in the first place. Chances are he was asked because it was already known.

    It doesn't matter if he's the best or worst player on the team – the rules shoudl apply across the board.

    I think the rules are out of step with our society today...and perhaps it's sad that is true. Student who choose to attend a school and choose to participate in sports should be held to the standards they agreed to.

    If this is excused (which it may be), I'd feel good for the student but the rules would be worthless.


    March 4, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
  45. Lisa

    BYU is a private univeristy and, as such, can implement whatever codes of conduct it deems important. When students choose to attend school there, they voluntarily sign the honor code and understand completely the consequences of violating it. The rest of the world may not share the same values that the Mormon faith embraces, but that doesn't mean choosing to uphold those standards and beliefs is wrong.

    March 4, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
  46. Neill Jenson

    This student did ign the honor code andviolated it. I however was kicked out of BYU in Idaho because of false accusations. The honor code office kicked me out of school without evidence, I appealed their decision to no avail. This school has treated me really unfairly, I hope someone can find justice. Thanks for airing this story CNN.

    March 4, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
  47. LB

    The university should be applauded for sticking to their honor code. People need to realize the consequences of their actions, I just wish the NBA, NFL, and other major sports leagues had such a policy. If higher standards were required and upheld, that could only be a good thing for the younger generation to see and model for themselves.

    March 4, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
  48. Greg Martin

    Your word is your bond and when it is all over the only thing you can take to your grave is your reputation. He signed a contract, making a commitment to the university and his team to live by certain rules. He broke the rules admitted to it and accepted the consequences. He learned a lesson and isn't that what education is all about. Yes, he let the team down, but he chose not to lie about his actions, accepted responsibility and will move on through life. There are a lot of people that could learn a lesson from this young man and accept responsibility for their own actions as well.

    March 4, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
  49. Kimmie

    Geez Louise!! I'm glad he was suspended. And I'm glad the school is standing behind their honor code. Was he married when he was having sex? No! So, why are people on this blog defending his actions? Just because sex outside marriage has become the norm doesn't make it right. So, Good for the school. Maybe now, he (and the other players) will keep the zippers up and focus on what they went to college to do. . . Get an education and play ball!!!

    March 4, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
  50. Robert Charles Crouse

    All NCAA schools should enforce the rules they establish for the players. If a rule is clear and fair, as this rule was, then its enforcement should not be an issue. No one should second guess the rules establish internally by BYU.

    March 4, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
  51. Anne

    Which sin is greater: premarital sex or national public humiliation by the Mormon church against the BYU player that he will carry through the rest of his life?

    March 4, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
  52. Tilly

    I understand that schools want to have certain rules, but expecting teenagers to abstain from sex is completely ridiculous in today's society. Just because it is a religious school does not make it any less likely that the kids won't engage in premarital sex. This isn't the stone age anymore, get over it.

    March 4, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
  53. Joe A. in Herndon

    We will see how fair and equitable BYU is in applying it's regulations. All athletes that have had pre-marital sex should now be kicked off all their athletic teams, or they are simply discriminating against this one athlete. How many BYU athletes maintain celibacy during their athletic careers at the University?

    March 4, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
  54. Sharon Wilson

    If one believes in God didn't He create our brain and thoughts. Why put the urge there if it's taboo to act God babies masterbate and that's a fact...we are just acting on our primitive instincts. Why doesn't the school study primitive tribes of today and ask if they have rules about sex...the answer is no...they do what comes natural to them.

    March 4, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
  55. Robert

    I think the school is right to kick any player off the men’s basketball team for violating the school’s honor code. If this is what he did he should be gone – engaging in premarital sex is not the issue.

    March 4, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
  56. Bill Lazzarini

    Rules are rules. This is not open for debate. He should have gone to a different school or did he not actually read the honor code before signing up. This is not rocket science it is a violation of university policy. At least he did not get kicked off the team for drinking coffee!!

    March 4, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
  57. Bryn James

    BYU would have lost any moral authority it had by ignoring Davies's violation of the honor code. I'm proud of them for holding him to the standard even when they knew it would hurt their star team.

    March 4, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
  58. King

    The school is siply. upholding it's honor code, and honor should not be comprmised for sports or this rapidly changing society.

    March 4, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
  59. Debbie Simler-Goff

    BYU has the right to uphold their morality code.

    This young man knew that being a student at BYU hinged in part on his willingness to adhere to the code. It is no different than a highschooler not being allowed to play sports because of a failing grade.

    Once the code is set, to make an exception is to weaken the diligence of the whole.

    If BYU wants to amend their requirements for next season that is their business. But for now, to allow this young man to play despite his breaking the code, would be a slap in the face to all the other young men and women who practiced abstinence, not because they didn't want to have sex, but because their commit to the code and thereby the greater good of the whole meant more to them than momentary pleasure.

    I commend BYU on what was no doubt a very difficult decision. And I feel for the young man, as my guess is he fully intended to maintain his abstinence or he would have not chosen to attend a university like BYU.

    March 4, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
  60. Joe

    One would hope young people who sign honor code letters upon admission to college would abide by them, but mistakes happen. This seems a bit extreme in punishment. I still beleive it was about the Black guy and the white girlfriend as to why he was suspended.

    March 4, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
  61. Larry Allan

    Too bad this happened to ruin a great run for B.Y.U. as a top team. The school may have had an issue about the black male and the white female having sex, race can matter in an issue that seemed too result in an extreme punishment.

    March 4, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
  62. Deborah Sanchez

    I'm a Christian, I understand the Bible, the Old and the New Testiments. BYU if i'm correct is a Christian College?...What about forgiveness wich besides the Resurection of Jesus, is what Christianity is all about..The student confessed his sin, and instead of getting counsel and forgiveness, he got hate and people who are not without sin , throw stone @ the student. God is all forgiven, Man is not! Because man is selfrightious and is quick with pointing out the sin of other people when they themselves commit sin..If I were not a Christian that understands , we all fall short of the Glory of God, I would think Christians were all hyprocrits, Again, Wheres the forgiveness that the Lord would give?

    go figure..

    March 4, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  63. Tom Tritto

    I suppose the BYU player's honesty is admirable, but in this day and age why should any player even have to think about the choice between disclosure and non disclosure of a private matter like this which has no bearing on matters such as fair play, the rules pof the game, and censorship. I'd guess that if all the college players who have recently had premarital sex came out and admitted it, and all the various schools immediately suspended them as BYU did. Them March Madness would have to be cancelled due to the lack of a sufficient number of playets.

    March 4, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
  64. Andra

    It's unfortunate for the team, but Davies signed an honor code when he chose to go to BYU. He should have the same consequences as any other student.

    March 5, 2011 at 12:17 am |
  65. tim

    what would you do ? i was in the work space when an emplyee i did not know came behind me and rubbered my shoulder and said hi and i became uncomfortable and told my mangt. she laughed and walked away, what would you do?

    March 6, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  66. Andy

    No worries ... if he's really a star player, he should have no problem cutting a deal with a school that isn't living 200 years in the past.

    March 7, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
  67. Renaldo Davis

    Rules my toes! If BYU is so righteous, they should have forgiven the ballplayer and given him another chance. Instead, all they did was make sure BYU could not make a run at the NCAA basketball championship. I don't see them getting out of the first round of the big dance without him. BYU also definitely hurt each player on that team. I wonder how many of them will enjoy watching the big dance from home. By the way, where is BYU?

    March 7, 2011 at 9:12 pm |

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