March 4th, 2011
10:42 AM ET

BYU stands by call to dismiss star athlete for 'honor code' violation

By the CNN Wire Staff

Brigham Young University officials on Thursday stood by the decision to dismiss a standout player on the Cougars' highly ranked men's basketball team, saying they are treating Brandon Davies just like they would any other student.

The school's athletic department announced Tuesday that Davies - a starting forward from Provo would no longer be part of the team this season. The university came into the week ranked third in the nation in the Associated Press Top 25 and Coaches polls.

Officials did not specify why, exactly, Davies was being suspended during a press conference Thursday.

But the Salt Lake Tribune, citing "multiple sources," said that the sophomore violated the honor code provision prohibiting premarital sex among students.

Many schools have honor codes, with students mandated to live and learn by certain standards. Still, the one that applies for students at Brigham Young's campuses in Utah, Hawaii and Idaho is more extensive than most, part of a conscious effort to "provide an education in an atmosphere consistent with the ideals and principles of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints."

The BYU code include requirements for "modest, neat and clean" dress and grooming; abstinence from alcohol, tobacco or illegal substances; any physical intimacy that exhibits homosexual feelings; prohibiting members of the opposite sex from going in one's bedroom areas; and regularly participation in church services, be they in the Mormon or another religious faith.

Tom Holmoe, the school's athletic director, said Thursday that its honor code is something that the university does not shy away from. And it applies equally to all students, athletes or not, with Davies simply being held to the same high standards as anyone else.

"We understand that people across the country might think this is foreign to them, and they are shocked and surprised," said Holmoe. "But for us, we deal with this quite often."

While officials would not specify when the process began, Holmoe said that Davies "was involved from the very beginning."

He was dropped from the team just weeks ahead of the NCAA basketball tournament, in which BYU - led by star Jimmer Fredette - is a contender to be one of four top seeds. The Cougars lost their first game without Davies to New Mexico on Wednesday, only their third defeat this season.

"We all love Brandon," Dave Rose, the team's coach, told reporters Thursday. "He's a great teammate, and he's been great for our team."

Rose admitted that the team was "disappointed" by Davies' ouster. But especially with a few days' hindsight, the coach said they were ready to tackle the "huge challenge" that lay ahead of them.

The decision to remove Davies was made by the university athletics department, pending the results of the full honor code investigation.

School spokeswoman Carri Jenkins said there's no timetable for that probe, which could potentially lead to Davies' permanent dismissal from the team or from the school.

But Holmoe said that he hopes Davies, who remains a student at BYU, returns to the court next season.

"I know Brandon Davies, and what I'm looking forward to ... is to see him come back strong," the athletic director told reporters. "This young man has dreams and goals."

Holmoe said officials and coaches at BYU don't view the honor code as a negative, admitting there is some "self-selection" as to which students embrace it and come to the university.

"We get kids who want to come here, who say this is what they want," he said. "We recruit to our strengths, and that is a strength."

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints • Mormonism • Sex • United States • Utah

soundoff (59 Responses)
  1. Sergio

    Dear : Horses in america please search in google , elephants ? , Mastodonts yes !!!!, horses Yes! wheat ? yes but from any kind of vegetable, steel is the only not finded, I am a professor. at last please search the truth, with real intention.

    March 5, 2011 at 7:47 pm |
  2. Jah

    why doesn't he just say the Angel Maroni came down and told him he was wrong. You might as well just add the the bullsh&t. Thats how it all started anyway.

    March 5, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • Mr. Sniffles

      Joseph Smith was visited by an angel named Moron. Explains a lot, doesn't it.

      March 5, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
  3. johnpaul

    The momos are only doing this because he his black. If he was white this would not be an issue. the momos hate other races and any others that are not mormon.

    March 5, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
    • Steve

      Wow, such depth! And you say this why? I just love your conclusory statements.

      March 5, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
    • David Johnson


      I blame the girl. It isn't the first time a woman has brought a righteous man down. Look what happened to Samson with Delilah, Adam with Eve, Kobe Bryant and that Katelyn Faber, Clinton with that Monica Lewinsky.

      In my lifetime, I have been sorely tempted by women. I have fought the good fight, many times – before giving in to their demands. I have felt righteous when I have proclaimed, "NO, my body is a temple!" But, my temple felt even better when we were smoking a cigarette afterwards.

      And Jesus, has rewarded me, for my efforts to resist sin. He has enabled me to shout from across the pharmacy, "I need a six pack of Magnums and a shoe horn over here!" Thank you Jesus!

      I'll tell you what, I have way more respect for Davies, than for that guy who wouldn't wrestle that cute girl. When I was his age, I would of been cool and said somethin' like, "Hey baby, you wanna fight?" And then the scrap would have been on!

      Any rate, I think Davies did the right thing. It's what I and 99% of the men in this country would have done. Why else would you want a girlfriend? See...I can't think of a reason either.

      Yo! BYU! You shouldn't take away Davies' "vitamins". Remember what happened to Tiger now that he isn't getting his "vitamins".


      March 5, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • Sergio

      Iam chilean and part of the church of jesuschrist of later day saints, my skin is tang, we are not racist ,that you said is not true.

      March 5, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
    • Mr. Sniffles

      Your skin is tang? Your skin is the breakfast drink of astronauts?

      March 6, 2011 at 1:22 am |
  4. Mr. Sniffles

    Utah leads the nation in po-rn consumption, has the highest bankruptcy rate, and has a very nast rap-e problem. 15- to 34-year-old males in Utah have had suicide rates markedly higher than those seen nationally, and the rate of suicide in Utah for females between the ages of 15-44 is four times the national average.

    Eli-Lilly dispenses 62% more Prozac in Utah than any other state. Utah's rate of homicide of females was 23% higher than the national rate.

    That moral code isn't working terribly well.

    March 5, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
    • David Johnson

      Perhaps their magic underwear is on too tight.? I've had that happen with regular boxers.

      Offering suggestions

      March 5, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
    • Sergio

      Yes you are right , know the information your are talking about, we need to change some things in our lives ,as a group, for example the pressure to obtain the perfection on earth.

      March 5, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
  5. Justina

    B.Y.U I don't care how you bring em,just bring em young.

    March 5, 2011 at 1:51 am |
  6. Al Bluengreenenbrownenburger

    I simply cannot understand how so many people can believe in something that is so obviously the fraud perpetrated by a con man named Joseph Smith.

    Steel and wheat and horses and so much more in pre-Columbian America, where those things did not exist?

    Religious faith is the belief in the obviously untrue.

    March 4, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
  7. CatOnFire

    Dear BYU: Was this seriously the first guy to ever attend your school?
    Seriously, if the school thinks this is a big deal then either he was the first guy to ever attend or the school is run by idiots.

    March 4, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  8. dbzl

    Only fair. I would like to see the Girl FRIEND has she been booted off her team?

    March 4, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
  9. JohnR

    Two separate questions. Is this honor code an anachronism? I'd say so. But if you sign on to it anyway, does the school have a right to suspend you if you break it? Of course!

    March 4, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  10. Reality

    Hopefully he practiced safe-s-ex by wearing a condom. Ditto for the gal and her daily Pill.

    March 4, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
  11. Justina

    Mormons need to read the whole KJV Bible they have, not just memorize few verses.

    March 4, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • Steve

      Justina, check this link out. Mormons placed very high on biblical knowledge survery, very close to th Jews and Atheists/Agnositcs. But, again, we just memorize verses and don't read. http://pewforum.org/other-beliefs-and-practices/u-s-religious-knowledge-survey.aspx

      March 5, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • Sergio

      Justina: We not only memorize , we study the scriptures during the high school , and four years in the university , thats the reason of the high standard of knowledge. at last we love them.

      March 5, 2011 at 7:39 pm |
  12. Frogist

    Besides their code being ridiculous and harmful, I have to say, I applaud this school if it actually treats all its athletes with the same level of scrutiny as its other students. That's refreshing. Of course their code is still ridiculous and harmful. But at least their bballers etc don't get to rise above those same ridiculous, harmful rules for the sake of winning a championship. Whether the rules do actually apply across the board... well let's just say, I'd be surprised if they are.

    March 4, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
    • Kim

      BYU does not treat their athletes and other students equally. Athletes are treated much worse with regard to the honor code. Not only do they spend much more in time and resources on making sure the athletes are living up to the code, but when they do slip up, it's a much more public affair. Lots of BYU students violate the honor code, but as it is with all members of the LDS church, the repentance process is long and private. It's between the student/member, their bishop, and God. In this case and the case of Harvey Unga, they jumped the gun, cut him from the team and ran straight for the press. Way to treat a guy who was honorable can confessed to this on his own. He is the sacrificial lamb being used by BYU (and by extension the LDS church) to gain new membership. Concern for their image will ALWAYS trump concern for their members. As much as this bothers me though, the LDS church is NOT a cult, as many here are saying.

      March 4, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
    • Jesusbejesus

      Kim, Mormnonism is a new religious movement. Lets see...magical metal plates, ancient tribes that never existed on our soil, magical underwear from Joseph Smith Jr. dabbling in folk magic to having a face to face convo with Jesus.

      Um Mormonism is a cult. lol

      March 4, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
    • Steve

      Shall we talk about millenia of religious conduct? If you find Mormonism strange, you should look into the beginnings of Islam, Catholicism, and then into the Protestant movement. Mind boggling. But tradition has a way of valdiate and justifying equally strange conduct and beliefs. To a secularist, all religions appear silly and unbelievable.

      March 5, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
  13. MrEO

    The real violation was that the guy had hetero-se-x.
    Those gays in the Moron church do not like that hetero stuff.
    And because the guy is black and therefore not a "true moron".

    I see they have no problem taking bribes from oil companies with those company logos on those chairs.
    They were always about scamming money. They are one of the greediest religions out there.

    March 4, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • CatOnFire

      You need to learn your stereotypes. It's far more likely they were upset he was only with one woman 😛

      March 4, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
    • DavidMichael

      Catonfire, The Church only allows for one wife and excommunicates anything other. You might want to keep the topic to the last century. Mitt Romney was pretty funny when he remarked that he was the only man on stage that only ever had one wife.
      For those that claim that Mormons need to learn the bible. I find that incredibly amusing since Mormons, Jews and Atheists/agnostic were the most biblically literate in the U.S. Those Mormons actually read their bible unlike other Christians that only hear a few verses on Sunday.

      Why do Mormons wear special garments? FYI they aren't magical and only bigots pretend such for mockery. They were these to remind them that "every knee shall bow and tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ." That's all folks...to remember promises made to their god.

      March 4, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  14. Colin

    Mormon doctrine also says that dark skin is a curse from God, so I maybe they're just killing two birds with one stone.

    March 4, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
    • Todd Smith

      Interesting comment Colin. I've been looking all over for where it my doctrine says that dark skin is a curse. I've been a member for 46 years now and never seen that in any of my Church's teachings. Or ever heard it taught in any of my Church's meetings. I have many friends with dark skin (mine isn't particularly light) and hope to be with them in the Celestial Kingdom some day. If my Church's beliefs are different than that I would sure like to know about it. Please enlighten me

      March 4, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
    • Colin

      Do a Google search for it, you'll get plenty of hits. Granted, it was something that was prevalent in the early days of the Mormon church, much earlier than your 46 years. So I guess I shouldn't hold it against them, given all the atrocities in the names of other religions. You'll still find race exclusion in many of the fundamentalist Mormon groups however. Isn't that the wonderful thing about interpretation?

      Out of curiosity, are you one of the magic under wear believers, or would that be fundamentalist as well?

      March 4, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
    • DavidMichael

      Actually, biblically there was a mark given to Cain because of Abel. Were there some Mormons that believed the mark was blackness? Sure, but so too did many Baptists (one of them even created the KKK) and other religions thought that might possibly be the case as well. When I was LDS, I was taught that this language was euphemistic not literal. I am not actually white but peachy colored...sort of like a black hat symbolized the bad guy and a white hat the good guy regardless of skin color. Talked about is not the same thing as Church canon. Did you also know that Joseph Smith gave the priesthood to Elijah Abel and his sons? They were black men. So much for your claim which post dates Joseph Smith's actions. Were some Mormons racist? Yes, along with every other group of humans.

      March 4, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
    • Todd Smith

      Colin, I apologize. I didn't realize that you had actually Googled it and your information came from such a reliable source as the Internet. If you could get some quotes out of the Globe or the National Enquirer or some other reliable periodicals, I might be willing to come over to your way of thinking.

      I also want to make sure I understand your second comment. As I understand it, you are fascinated with my underwear. And you are calling ME strange. Do I have that right?

      March 6, 2011 at 2:09 am |
    • Colin

      I could also Google the color of the sky. If I told you it was blue, would you disagree because it was Googled? And the underwear I speak of are the Temple Garments related to the Endowment ceremony.

      March 7, 2011 at 11:49 am |
    • Todd Smith

      So you ARE fascinated with my underwear. And then you are calling ME strange. I just wanted to confirm.

      March 7, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
    • Todd Smith

      By the way, I Googled "What color is the sky"? The was the Wikipedia answer:

      "The sky appears to be blue as perceived by the human eye. This is because the light from the sky is a result of the sunlight scattering. The sky can change and appear lots of colors, such as red, orange, yellow, pink, purple (at sunrise and sunset) and black (at night). "

      March 8, 2011 at 11:08 am |
  15. Magic

    Sure, he signed the honor code paper. I wonder how much counsel he received before doing so, in the midst of a barrage of paperwork to be signed for admission to the school and the team. Maybe it's sort of like those "I Agree" boxes that we all check off when downloading stuff.

    He's young and feels 'special' - and maybe naively thought he'd be immune to follow-up, if he did understand the doc.ument.

    I think that BYU is showing integrity by enforcing their rules (even though I disagree with those rules).

    He'll easily find a better place to play.

    March 4, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
  16. JDonaldson

    What did the kid think would happen when he attended a school run by a cult? It is like taking a vacation at the Jim Jones compound and complaining that the kool-aid tastes "funny".

    March 4, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
    • DavidMichael

      Grow up! It's not a cult. People may live in their own homes and go to bed whenever they want without church interference. If they want a Bacon, Lettuce, and tomato sandwich, they may chose to eat that. Even the Word of Wisdom is my your own choice. Strangely enough, Mormons do well on longevity because of those high standards of "cult" behavior you profess. Again, grow up. Oh, and I am exmormon.

      March 4, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
    • Doug

      Of course it's a cult! Have you ever read the ridiculous drivel in the Book of Mormon? The whole cult is the fabrication of a child molesting bigamist.

      March 4, 2011 at 10:11 pm |
    • DavidMichael

      Yes, I actually have read the Book Of Mormon...have you? It is no better or worse than the bible. It isn't a cult since the simple fact is you may be Mormon and go home and eat whatever food you have in your refrigerator that you purchase from the store from money you make on your job. A cult controls your food, your purchases and you finances. A cult also controls where you travel and with whom you associate. None of this applies to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. While the church's "word of wisdom" teaches that people shouldn't drink coffee or alcohol," plenty of mormons chose not to abide by that and remain mormon. So again, not a cult and I am ex-mormon and know.

      Joseph Smith was not a "child molesting bigamist" as you state. While he admittedly did participate in polygamy, without question his wife was well aware of that fact. At the time it was also illegal for a black to marry a white and a white could actually OWN a black. Are you aware that Joseph Smith gave Elijah Abel and his sons not only baptism, but the High Priesthood? Yeah you probably don't. Was Zina 14 when she "married" into polygamy? Joseph Smith? Yes, but at that time, it was not outside the norm of normal for young women of that age to marry. Do we know if she consummated that marriage or if it was for eternity only, in which the belief is that she would not act as a wife in this life but only in heaven/celestial kingdom after death. So, she may never even have had "relations" with Joseph. Since there are a very limited number of children for Joseph, it is quite likely that many if not most of the marriages were for eternity only (so no physical relations on earth) if you catch my drift.

      March 5, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  17. alice

    BRAVO. FINALLY, a school/church/employer that stands by its honor code! I cannot tell you how much respect your recent suspension of basketball player Davies has/will garner! I would have rather it been for an infraction regarding something other than what it was, but at least your administration and coach did the right thing by following your honor! Why else have one!!! BRAVO!!!

    p.s. let's hope that the fellow who posted the most idiotic reply to this ruling becomes a father to a lot of daughters!!!!!!!!!!!!! Let's see how he feels then!!

    March 4, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
    • Joe Bronie

      father to a lot of daughters is not a bad thing you wingnut

      March 4, 2011 at 9:02 pm |
  18. David Johnson

    This is silly. BYU lost after dismissing Davies. A judgement from god, if I ever saw one!

    So, Davies had $ex with his girlfriend. When I was single, I did this as often as possible. It is a guy thing. LOL

    Did not even God, "get Him some"? I rest my case!


    March 4, 2011 at 11:54 am |
    • Sarah

      Just like to point out – BYU lost to New Mexico in their pre-march madness round BEFORE losing davies as well. They played New Mexico twoce – with and without Davies – and lost both times.

      March 4, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • Frogist

      @DJ: omg! First real laugh I've had today. Thanks, buddy.

      March 4, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
  19. R Kaylin

    I love their values - our young people would be better off committing to these. I also am aware that kids with ADD or ADHD have serious 'control' issues. For example, kids with ADHD are 10 times as likely to have a child out of wedlock. While Davis has showed great responsibility, I also hope this possibility will be considered - not as an excuse, but perhaps as an opportunity to help him. The only resource I would recommend is any work by Russell Barkley, or his website. http://www.russellbarkley.com. All the best to Davis.

    March 4, 2011 at 11:23 am |
  20. The Bobinator

    If the school recieves public funds, it cannot legally suspend the player. If it funded solely on private funds, it's free to do whatever they damn well choose.

    The player picked the school and was aware of the code. You can pick the game, but you can't change the rules.

    March 4, 2011 at 10:46 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.