No. 3 BYU loses after dismissing player for honor code violation
Brigham Young University center Brandon Davies has been suspended for the rest of the season.
March 3rd, 2011
11:11 AM ET

No. 3 BYU loses after dismissing player for honor code violation

Sticking to principles appears to carry a steep cost for the nation's third-ranked college basketball team.

A day after Brigham Young University dismissed center Brandon Davies from the team for violating the school's strict honor code, the No. 3-ranked Cougars were throttled Wednesday by unranked New Mexico.

"The honor code really reflects who we are as a university. It defines us and it does make us different," BYU spokeswoman Carrie Jenkins told CNN affiliate KSTU-TV.

Davies, a 6-9 sophomore from Provo, was the team's top rebounder and third-leading scorer. He received the Cougars' Academic Excellence award last season, according to an online profile.

BYU had been gunning for a high seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament, but the team's fortunes took a tumble with Wednesday night's 82-64 loss to New Mexico.

University officials said Davies admitted violating the honor code at BYU, which is owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as the Mormon Church.

The honor code requires all faculty, staff and students to:

  • 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 dress and grooming standards;
  • Encourage others in their commitment to comply with the honor code.

The code forbids homosexual behavior and bars members of the opposite sex from going beyond the lobby of the school's single-sex dormitories.

The dress and grooming standards forbid beards, tattoos and piercings for men and short or form-fitting clothes or bare feet in public for women.

The university did not say which part of the code Davies violated, but it did say he had not committed a crime. Davies' future as a student at BYU and his status for next season have yet to be determined.

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Filed under: College basketball • Religion • Sports • Utah
soundoff (511 Responses)
  1. JonathanL

    So Utah is more like Somalia now that I have these facts. I thought it was very odd that in Somalia the Muslim police whip women in the public square if they are coaught no wearing socks. That this type of restricted honor code exists in the USA shows how far we still have to go before we are in the modern world. Do the Mormons also do honor killings like the Taliban in Pakistan, and do they have anti-blasphemy laws like the one they just used to assassinate two politicians with? The Taliban seem a little more strict than the Morrnans because they also don't allow men to shave and they do not allow anyone to listen to music, but still! OMG let's get away from these silly and arbitrary rules!

    March 3, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eastern Guy

      Why don't you go to Utah to find out for yourself instead of guessing at what you evidently know nothing about?

      March 3, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • prplkat

      I grew up in UT, yes, it is like a church-runned state, but nowhere near the human rights violations going on in Somalia. Please don't lessen the suffering there trying to make a point.

      March 3, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • LIved in Utah

      Talk about an off the wall analogy. BYU has had a code of honor since day one. I know for a fact that it is not always followed, those that don't are either lucky enough not to get caught or not brave enough to face the consequences. I'm not sure if you realize this or not, whether you sign an honor code or not, there are reactions to every action, whether good or bad. It's a personal choice, and Brandon chose to step up and be a man of honor.

      March 3, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Visine

    Is the young lady subject to suspension/dismissal and loss of financial support?

    March 3, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Patrick

      She is not a BYU student. She plays volleyball at Arizona State. Her father and two of her brothers played football at BYU, one is playing now. She is a good girl. He is a good guy. He will rebound from this and play next year. Outsiders don't understand and that's fine. But you should at least acknowledge that it is more than "he knew what he was getting into". He wanted in. He wants to stay. He is a man of honor, and like many other men and women of honor he slipped. He has asked the University for the opportunity to stand back up and once again embrace the values he believes in. They are considering his request, and will likely embrace him in return.

      March 3, 2011 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
  3. MelT

    It doesn't sound like he got kicked out of school, he just got dismissed from the team. I worked full-time for BYU for several years and worked very closely with the honor code office. On the outside people see them as this iron fist with no sympathy, etc. I found them to be the opposite. Very understanding, very loving, very forgiving. BYU is a private university where much of the tuition/scholarships/funding are from the church/church members. They have every right to hold their students to a higher standard if they choose, when they are footing the bill. I'm sure he is a great guy and just made a mistake (like everyone does in their lives), but unfortunately by breaking his end of the deal, BYU has to dismiss him, according to the contract he signed. I'm sure he will be able to move past this and learn from it and continue to have great success in his life. I wish him the best.

    March 3, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jayarby

    Here's what Brandon Davies said about his dismissal:..................... Nothing. Although he may be upset, he knows he violated the rules. So really, it's a moot point.

    March 3, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  5. prplkat

    i grew up in UT and remember reading a story about BYU holding a student's degree for honor code violation.
    To this I have two words to say: GO UTES!

    March 3, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Patrick

      And to that I have three words to say. "GO HOME UTE"

      March 3, 2011 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
  6. jaredlives

    Is it true that they locked down the campus when it was found out that a Black man had 'relations' with a white byu coed?

    March 3, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Dean

    Brigham Young comments about blacks
    "You see some classes of the human family that are black, uncouth, uncomely, disagreeable and low in their habits, wild, and seemingly deprived of nearly all the blessings of the intelligence that is generally bestowed upon mankind....Cain slew his brother. Cain might have been killed, and that would have put a termination to that line of human beings. This was not to be, and the Lord put a mark upon him, which is the flat nose and black skin." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 7, p. 290).
    "In our first settlement in Missouri, it was said by our enemies that we intended to tamper with the slaves, not that we had any idea of the kind, for such a thing never entered our minds. We knew that the children of Ham were to be the "servant of servants," and no power under heaven could hinder it, so long as the Lord would permit them to welter under the curse and those were known to be our religious views concerning them." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 2, p. 172).
    "Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 10, p. 110).

    March 3, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • anon


      March 3, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • SHCSMU

      Wow, this is pretty telling how messed up Mormon belief is. I guess that this Journal of Discourses is an important book in their religion and obviously it is "racist". Pretty telling that no Mormon people are commenting on it. Guess you can't defend what is undefendable.

      March 3, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • GrogInOhio

      Solid points. He went into this with both eyes open. However, I'm betting (against the honor code?) that what one signs as a 17 or 18 year old may strike one VERY differently a year or two later. He's paying a major price for deciding to go to BYU in the first place.

      March 3, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • zaptastic

      I am LDS, and the Journal of Discourses is NOT scripture, NOR has it ever been considered so, NOR have any leader of authority given endorsement as to the accuracy or reliability of the contents.

      March 3, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • AmLo

      How many members of United States Congress were members of the KKK? Before we start spouting facts that have nothing to do with religious beliefs at present, let's take a look at the poliitcal climate of that day and age. Should all white Americans be considered members of such an atrocious group because our leaders were in fact members? Just something to think about...

      March 3, 2011 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Montezuma

    Interesting "Honor Code." The timing of his discipline seems suspect. Nice that he operated within the code until BYU beat conference rival SDSU and then was booted 48 hours later when they claimed the 1 spot and their game schedule wasn't as daunting. Hmmmmmm...very honorable indeed.

    March 3, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Dean

    Mormon's death baptized Adolph Hitler.

    According to the teaching of their "prophet"/con artist founder Joseph Smith Jr. Adolph is in eternal paradise right now.

    Can i get a comment from my jewish friends?

    March 3, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dirk Anderson

      Give me a break. Dean's comment is inherently untrue, and clearly a troll. Here is a basic explanation from an average regular faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints . . . . First of all, Corinthians mentions baptisms "for the dead ' . . . interesting how no other Christian followings practice it, since it is stated so clearly. The baptism requirement for salvation is clearly stated in the Bible, as well. Doing such proxy baptisms provides the physical ordinance for those who have passed on without having the baptism done in this life. It does NOT guarantee salvation, however. God knows and is the only fair judge. Hitler may have had the baptism ordinance done for him, but his judgment still remains.

      March 3, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Dean

    Brigham Young comments about blacks

    "Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 10, p. 110)

    There are worse quotes out there.

    March 3, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nottaway

      since 1978 any worthy male member of the lds church has been allowed to be ordained to the priesthood. asian, hispanic, or black makes no difference.
      that tells me there is no discrimination (or at least no longer) in the mormon church despite whatever someone may or may not have said in the 19th century.

      March 3, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
  11. MFH

    Good for him. Play for another school. Get away from those nutballs!

    March 3, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  12. BD

    I dated a mormon in high school and I went through the conversion process, discussions etc. Sweet girl, alot to admire. But, the reality is, decisions made by the church are directly attributable to being "accepted in society", aka getting statehood yada yada. If the whole world said "everyone must drink coffee or be at war", Mormons would rewrite their doctrine and say you could. Polygamy is indisputably a part of the original mormon upbringing. It was the last great american cult until scientology came along. Follow the money.

    That being said, they are good people. But they arent ending up anywhere different than a poor black kid in africa when the worms come calling. We are all human.

    March 3, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  13. emanym

    I graduated from BYU and it is a very odd place. True, people do willingly sign the honor code, but for many mormon kids it is THE place to go. There is a great deal of pressure to go there if you are mormon. I officially resigned from the church about 5 years ago. Funny story: We weren't allowed to wear jeans when I went to BYU and there was a testing center where students could take tests. One winter Saturday morning a friend of mine went to the center wearing jeans (because it was a Saturday she thought it was allowed). They told her she could not be permitted inside with jeans. So she went outside, took off her jeasns and put her long coat back on and was allowed inside to take her test. Like I said, it's an odd place – for MANY reasons. I'm embarrassed to say I have a degree from there. It is a university where students run to their bishop to tell on roommates for drinking coffee or watching an "R" rated movie. I'm not kidding.

    March 3, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • MelT

      Yeah, well, I graduated from BYU too. And I'm pretty sure I was wearing jeans almost every day.

      March 3, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • lawgal

      In the late 70's and early 80's you could not wear jeans. That changed somewhere along the line, so MeIT, I'm sure you are much younger than emynem and me. Just because YOU could wear jeans doesn't mean that's the way it always was. And I was actually at school when that jeans/coat story happened, so it's true. (The girl wrote a letter to the school paper telling everyone she had done it anyway.)

      March 3, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  14. BikeToWork

    Before Scientology came along, the Mormon's were considered the ones with the crazy religion. I wonder who will invent the next wacko religion which makes Scientology seem normal. Ugh, man-made religions, I should simply say religions, are silly. That being said, the kid should be kicked off the team, it's not like he didn't know what he was signing up for.

    March 3, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  15. CaptObvious

    Um... bare feet? What? I assume that's in their holy book someplace? Who comes up with this crap?

    March 3, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |

      I believe that bare foot thing is an error. I am LDS, my wife went to BYU. There is no rules about not going barefoot in public! Heck half the woman in my Ward and most of the teenage girls wear flip flops!
      never trust news sources 100%.

      March 3, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • lawgal

      Never heard of the bare foot rule. I doubt it. Or at least I doubt that it would only apply to women. Bare feet are not taboo in the LDS religion.

      March 3, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |

      I looked it up and CNN should fire the author.
      AKA no shirt, no shoes, no service.
      It isn't gender specific. so the rule is probably the same as 99% of all other universities. You can not go barefoot to class, the Student Union, and in the dorm common areas.
      You can go barefoot of course at places like the pool and such. Yes it is a freaking health code rule! And is not limited to one just women!

      March 3, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
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