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)]