Thursday, March 3, 2011

Playing Devil's Advocate with the Mormons

The big headlines in college basketball today center around BYU. The headlines do not concern Jimmer Fredette and only partially concern their stunning blowout loss to New Mexico at home Wednesday night.

The hub-bub was over the dismissal of sophomore big man Brandon Davies from the team. College players get dismissed from the team all of the time but not for what Davies did. Davies admitted to BYU school officials that he had a sexual relationship with his girlfriend. This goes against the BYU University Honor Code that states that students that attend the school "live a chaste and virtuous life". In other words, don't do the nasty while you are a student at BYU.

The honor code also states that students cannot drink, do drugs or drink caffeine while at BYU. Mormons traditionally live a very strict life that includes not partaking in any substances that can alter one's mood or cause addiction.

I can see two sides of this argument: 1). BYU should lighten up and give this kid a second chance. His team needs him; and 2). Davies, as well as all the athletes and students at BYU knew what they were getting into when they came to BYU.

Obviously a college kid having sex with his girlfriend is not a big deal. It's a fact of life that it happens and there is little anyone can do about it. Besides it's not like Davies sold stuff in exchange for tattoos (Ohio State), or stole another student's laptop (Florida), or got tazed by police and arrested, or had sex with a girl on the floor of his basketball arena (Kansas) or broke his girlfriend's spine, or punched his girlfriends dad in the face, or had sex with a woman in a public place (All Louisville and I could put more). I could go on and on and on.

But then again Davies was smart enough to know what he was getting into when he decided to join the Cougars. I am sure the school outlined for him their strict rules and regulations and he broke the rules. Davies admitted to it and he owned up to it like a man. He accepted the consequences and asked his team for forgiveness which the coaches and players readily gave.

Davies didn't hurt anybody and he didn't break any laws. He was just doing what a lot of kids his age do but that's not an excuse. Davies will get a second chance on a team and he deserves it. His transgressions were far from egregious and I would gladly take him as a UK Wildcat.

The Cougars are now stuck in a position where they were once considered a Final Four contender and now many think that they may not make it out of the second round. It's been a magical season for BYU and it could all end because they stood by their morals as a university.

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