In an era where people believe that paying college athletes, beyond their scholarship, will help alleviate the character flaws and downright illegal, unethical, and entitlement type behavior seen by too many elite level college athletes, coaches, and programs, we have the story of Brandon Davies and BYU.
For those that don’t recall, Brandon Davies was expelled from BYU’s basketball team, at a most inopportune time (Final Four time), for breaking the BYU honor code―aka, having premarital sex with his girlfriend.
Now we can debate over and over the moral, ethical, and realistic position this part of BYU’s code takes in today’s times; however, you cannot debate (at least not effectively) that Brandon did agree to the code and did break that code. There should be no argument there.
There should also be no argument regarding Davies’ expulsion either (even though there was), simply because that diminished BYU’s chances of advancing through the final four. It is purely a matter of character and integrity, BYU’s character and integrity.
Fast forward about six months and BYU, their honor code, and Brandon Davies, are all in the news again as BYU announces Davies’ reinstatement to their program for this upcoming season. At The Sports Network, Jared Trexler discusses his feelings on the whole reinstatement issue in his piece “Answering the questions of today's game - part 2.” In it he states:
“Davies paid a harsh price for his actions, and he now has the opportunity to play the game he loves and lead a very young Cougars team this season. The entire situation, from start to finish, was handled in the proper way. Other programs in similar moral and ethical situations should follow BYU's blueprint. I won't hold my breath.”
I could not have said it any better myself. Perfect statement; absolutely flawless.
Redemption is at the heart of being just. It exemplifies the concept that we all are human, that we all make mistakes―again, keeping in mind that Davies’ mistake centers on the breaking of a code he agreed to, not necessarily the act itself.
For anyone to say that Brandon should be barred from ever playing another minute for BYU has, well…very little understanding of what building character and integrity is all about. They are not absolutes but works in progress, for all of us. Those “barring forever” type consequences should be held to those repeat offenders that don’t show a capacity to build on their character, their integrity, or simply choose not to.
Clinton: “I did not have sexual relations with that woman”
Ah…yes you did, and we all know it.
The ability to differentiate between knowing you made a mistake and admitting that you did instead of hiding behind lies and deceit are defining factors in this capacity, something Brandon Davies demonstrated with grace.
I am with Trexler on this; he is right on the money. And as far as “other programs in similar moral and ethical situations” following BYU’s example here, “I won't hold my breath” either.”