BYU and Their Shared Values

Today on Facebook, I posted an ESPN clip regarding BYU’s decision to dismiss Brandon Davies from their basketball team for the remainder of the season due to violation of the school’s Honor Code.  Because BYU is ranked #3 in the polls with the “Big Dance” right around the corner and because Davies is a great asset to the team, this decision has come with a lot of interest from sports commentators, college educators, coaches, and especially BYU fans.

I, personally, am grateful that there are still people and universities that place ethics over a winning sports program.  After all, athletics is not the purpose of a university, but rather a means for some students to have the opportunity to receive an education who might otherwise not have the opportunity.  Of course, the competitiveness of athletics can contribute to school spirit and be a great deal of fun.  Yet, a university is in the business of educating and preparing its students to be positive contributors to society.  That not only includes preparing them for the job market, but also preparing them to understand the rules of the game; the game of life, not basketball, football, or other athletic competitions.

My purpose of this post, however, is not to discuss  BYU’s decision in this matter, but rather to stress the fact that BYU just happened to be the university in this position at this time.  As others participated in my Facebook post, I was pleased to see the support of so many.  I am particularly thrilled to hear from some of the new friends I have made through a common interest we share in the blog of Charles Shaughnessy.  We have not yet personally met, but I am gratified by the caliber of people that I have had the opportunity to “rub shoulders” with through these correspondences.  Although there are most certainly corrupt athletic programs throughout the country, it is important to note that BYU is not the only university who has high standards and they are certainly not the only one who would take such action.  These universities may be in the minority, but they do exist.

Being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or as we sometimes are better known, Mormons, I have more of an opportunity to rub shoulders and socialize with members of my same faith than otherwise.  I certainly greatly value the friendships I have made through these associations, but it has been wonderful to see people from various religions also striving to be good disciples of Jesus Christ and living lives of quality and virtue.  In fact, I value all people who strive to live lives of integrity and honor regardless of their religion or lack thereof.  Because of that, I would like to thank those who have added to my life over the past few months through these forums–so thanks to Cristina, JoAnn, Kristen, Karen, Valerie, Charles, and the others from “The Blog”.  It is refreshing to learn of other perspectives and experiences.

As far as BYU basketball and Brandon Davies are concerned, I wish them both well.  We can all speculate as to which code Davies broke, but in reality that is between him, the university, and, of course, God.  I hope that someday he can look back on this experience and recognize it as a blessing in his life–a course correction.  After all, which of us haven’t needed that at times.

In the meantime, remember that 2 Plus 2 Doesn’t Always Equal 4                                          [And please take time to read my original post to understand Why the Title of this Blog? (Feb. 17, 2011)]

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3 responses to “BYU and Their Shared Values

  1. I can provide a bit of a different perspective–not necessarily of an athlete being dismissed for violating a school’s honor code, but of an athlete being kept off the team for not making adequate academic progress. It occurred while I was attending Penn State in the early 1980s, and one of the All-American defensive backs (I can’t remember the player’s name) did not have a 2.0 GPA after the spring semester. Most colleges I know would have made accommodations so that the student would “make adequate progress” by having him enroll in summer classes that would enable him to bring up his grades so that he would be eligible to play football in the fall. Not at Penn State. The player was told that he would not be playing that fall–even before summer classes started–so that he could focus on academics and graduate on time. This was the head coach’s decision, not the university’s. And it’s one reason why I do admire Joe Paterno, because he consistently puts academics ahead of football. And, if I recall correctly, that was the year Penn State won its first national championship in football–and the player came back the following year and graduated on time.

    I just wish these examples were the norm and not the exception. The student I mentioned on FB yesterday (the one who plagiarized 100% on two assignments last summer)–I’ve heard that one reason why they let her graduate was because dismissing her from the university for violating the academic integrity policy would have affected the student athlete graduation rate (she was a soccer player). Our university leaders say they are big on ethics, but when push comes to shove–they back down. It’s frustrating, disappointing, disillusioning, etc., but it won’t stop me from putting “stickers on the board” when a student has chosen to violate school policy.

  2. It’s been wonderful getting to know you too, Jeannie! Bethel University(MN) where my son attends, would have done the same thing. My cousin’s daughter is the same age as he, and is attending a great school here in NJ. She is a National Merit Scholar and just a great young lady. Her first freshman roommate would come home drunk 3-4 nights/week, stumble in at 3 am and vomit all over the rug. Elisabeth had early classes and needed to keep her GPA to maintain her FULL scholarship. When the girl started to bring boys back to her bed(while E. was lying in her own bed, trying to sleep and listening to the “sound track” from the other bed), Mom and Dad went with E. to see the Housing Director. The school’s reply “Well, that’s part of college, learning to live with different people in the real world”!!!!!!!! I’m sorry, but in the “real world” you are not expected to work in your cubicle, while the person next to you pukes on the floor and has loud s*x! My cousin was just horrified. E ended up rooming with a like-minded friend, but for goodness sake!!!

  3. Jeannie did not know this subject I refer to the issue of university ‘(as you know I do not live next door)
    but like you love Jesus’ and although they are not of your own religion entirely agree with what you say
    I went over to Facebook because I was curious to know Charles and I discovered that it is a wonderful person and ringrazzio because through him I met you all
    Thank you for your beautiful words and because I consider myself your friend I’m very happy about this

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