03 March 2011

Hi, I go to BYU! I have values!

The BYU basketball game last night? I don't want to talk about it.

I do, however, want to talk about the BYU Honor Code. For those who are not aware, Brigham Young University enforces a strict code of conduct---one that is laughable to most students and alumni from the stereotypical "party hard" college scene. "It's college! Let it loose! Go crazy! Try everything! because it's your last chance to do so before entering the full-fledged adulthood that graduation thrusts upon you." As if graduating from college somehow makes you an adult. If you're a student, you know what I mean. If you were a student, you know what I mean. If your only exposure to college life is from watching ABC's "Greek," you know what I mean. I've heard enough of my parents' college stories and see enough "what I did this weekend" photo albums of non-BYU Facebook friends to know that I'm not getting the same experience. Am I bothered by that? Heck no. I wouldn't be at BYU otherwise.

What's in the Honor Code, you may ask? I'll lay it out for you:
Be honest
Live a chaste and virtuous life
Obey the law and all campus policies
Use clean language
Respect others
Abstain from alcoholic beverages, tobacco, tea, coffee, and substance abuse
Participate regularly in church services
Observe the Dress and Grooming Standards
Encourage others in their commitment to comply with the Honor Code

Jimmer Fredette and I were both made fully aware of the Honor Code before choosing to come to this university, and we willingly signed it upon acceptance. In fact, we re-confirm our commitment to it every year we are enrolled. So, why is half the sporting world all up in arms because BYU kicked Brandon Davies off the basketball team when he broke the Honor Code??? Yes, he was our starting forward. Yes, he was good. Yes, it sucks that he's suspended for the rest of the season (if not forever). But those are the consequences for breaking the rules, and props to BYU for actually upholding theirs.

"But BYU is ranked #3! They are projected to be a #1 seed in the upcoming NCAA tournament! They even have a good chance at being a final four contender!" I bag on schools like USC because of the amount of corruption in their sports programs. So I would be completely hypocritical if I wished BYU had let this one slide or had simply turned a blind eye.

So why is everyone so shocked that BYU let Davies go? Especially at such a critical point in Cougar basketball history? Honor Code haters like sports editor Andrew Sharp seem to have forgotten that THIS IS OUR RELIGION, people! BYU is a private religious institution run by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Its students come here because they want to adhere to higher standards and live around those who do the same. No one forces them into it. I could have gone to Ohio State, but---believe it or not---I still wouldn't drink and I still wouldn't have sex! Weird. BYU wouldn't exist if no one supported its standards. But people do. By their own free will and choice.

Here are some wise words for you: Regarding the Honor Code (and its critics), legendary BYU football coach Lavell Edwards said, "I don't know that those not inclined to understand, will ever understand." It's true. You see what you want to see.

Not every sports writer is an Honor Code hater. Many have expressed their admiration for BYU sticking to its guns. Read this, because it's classy, well-written, and I agree with everything it says (and obviously you care about what I do or don't agree with or you wouldn't be reading my blog).

To BYU: you have my respect. To the basketball team: GO GET 'EM, COUGS!