Arrow-right Camera

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Partly Cloudy Day 29° Partly Cloudy

Community Comment

BYU’s Honor Code and collegiate sports…

Good morning, Netizens...

Earlier this week, Brandon Davies, the star forward on Brigham Young University's nationally ranked basketball team was suspended for the season after violating the school's Honor Code. The 6-foot-9 sophomore didn't plagiarize any term papers, nor did he commit any felonies. No, Brandon Davies was booted from the team after admitting to administration officials that he'd had sex with his girlfriend.

What is the honor code? With just a small iota of research I found the following on the Brigham Young University's web site located thus:

Honor Code Statement

We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men. . . . If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things (Thirteenth Article of Faith).

As a matter of personal commitment, faculty, administration, staff, and students of Brigham Young University, Brigham Young University—Hawaii, Brigham Young University—Idaho, and LDS Business College seek to demonstrate in daily living on and off campus those moral virtues encompassed in the gospel of Jesus Christ, and will

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

Specific policies embodied in the Honor Code include (1) the Academic Honesty Policy, (2) the Dress and Grooming Standards, (3) the Residential Living Standards, and (4) the Continuing Student Ecclesiastical Endorsement. (Refer to institutional policies for more detailed information.)

The first thought that came to my mind was that if every University basketball team had enforceable rules such as these, it might end collegiate basketball such as we know it to be, or at least it would dramatically reduce the number of students that could meet this criteria and thus play basketball. Of course if you expanded the enforcement of these rules to where they included every student, including those who were not involved in intercollegiate sports, what would that do to college life as we have known it to be throughout history?

Can you imagine a world of one of our more libertine colleges or universities trying to enforce such a set of policies after-the-fact? I submit that the lawyers would have a field day. Of course, your thoughts and religious beliefs may differ.



Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.