The Princeton Review has ranked Brigham Young University, owned and operated by the Church of Latter Day Saints, as the most “stone cold sober” school for 12 years running. Brandon Davies, a basketball player at BYU, has found out why.
Brigham Young University requires its students to adhere to an honor code which requires them to “‘be honest, live a chaste and virtuous life…use clean language and abstain from alcohol, tobacco, tea, coffee and drugs. It also bars gambling, use of pornography and homosexual behavior, though ‘feelings or attraction’ are allowed.” Prohibitions also extend to the consumption of coffee and tea, which contain caffeine and are thus forbidden to Mormons.
Davies has been suspended from the BYU basketball team for a violation of the honor code that apparently involved him having sex with his girlfriend. Whether he will be given the boot from BYU is yet to be determined.
Davies’ removal from the team seems to have had an effect on its performance on the court. But BYU is standing fast to its decision, regardless of wins and losses.
It would be tempting to the more secular among us to snicker at this strict enforcement of morality. This writer went to an entirely different school in the mid 1970s where he majored in journalism and history, but minored in beer and skirt chasing. And this business of allowing gay “feelings or attraction” seems awfully rich. If there was a “feelings or attraction” clause in the BYU honor code, how would they know?
On the other hand, one can also approach these things from the principle of “Their school, their rules.” Brandon Davies, a Mormon and resident of Utah, was certainly aware of what he was signing up for when he enrolled at BYU. While being young once, one can sympathize with what raging hormones can cause someone to do; one also from the vantage of age and wisdom suggest that actions tend to have consequences.
One can also reflect that at other universities, jocks are allowed to get away with just about anything, so long as they make touchdowns or jump shots. It is perhaps a little refreshing that there is at least one place of higher learning that doesn’t put up with shenanigans from their athletes.
In any event, if Brandon Davies is ultimately given the royal order of the boot from BYU, if he is the kind of athlete they say he is, he should get all sorts of offers from other universities, complete with a scholarship. So he should land on his feet, a good thing for a basketball player to do.
Source: Dismissal of Brandon Davies Supported By BYU’s Disappointed Mormon Students, Ellen Trumposky, ABC News, March 3rd, 2011