As this story was possibly the most refreshing thing I have heard from college sports in a year, I wanted to offer my commentary on the recent suspension of BYU’s starting forward, and leading rebounder, Brandon Davies.
A college basketball player being suspended for rules violations is nothing new in the shadiest of shady world of college sports. However, a third-ranked team in the nation suspending a player for the season just weeks before the national tournament for breaking an honor code that includes the request to “abstain from drinking…tea…” certainly is. Now, I doubt Davies was suspended for slamming a Lipton during halftime of their latest victory over San Diego State, but BYU will not disclose how the code was broken. It could involve any of the following (Honor Code from BYU):
Live a chaste and virtuous life
Obey the law and all campus policies
Use clean language
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
What I admire is that BYU stepped up and led by example by sticking to their guns. In perhaps their greatest season, with a potential number one seed and a chance at a national title on the line, they suspend their third best player – before the tournament. In a similar situation for my beloved Kansas Jayhawks, starting guard Tyshawn Taylor was suspended “indefinitely”, only to be reinstated just in time for the Big 12 tournament. Yeah, this could be just a coincidence, but sadly, there was never a doubt in my mind that he wouldn’t be back before March Madness. Perhaps the worst example of this hypocrisy is last year’s Ohio State Buckeyes football program, who allowed five star players to participate in their bowl game before serving their suspension – next year.
It is nice to see sports teams placing integrity above winning. I think fans appreciate these types of stories, but somehow, greed has been defeating sportsmanship for quite a while now. It is true that sports are a reflection of society, and lately, “if it bleeds it leads.” We have to start somewhere by recognizing people for doing the right thing – thank you BYU.
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