Other than Penn State football coach Joe Paterno forcing his misbehaving football players to help clean up the stadium after a game, there aren’t usually too many stories of integrity among colleges when it comes to their athletic organizations. More often than not the stories that make headlines are about administrators looking the other way regarding the academic performance of star athletes, boosters inappropriately boosting or players running afoul of NCAA regulations off the court.
But Brigham Young University, home of the nation’s third-ranked college basketball team, has just dismissed a star player for an undisclosed honor-code violation. The booting of Brandon Davies comes as the team has aspirations to be champions at this month’s NCAA tournament.
Davies started 26 of 29 games, averaging 11.1 points and 6.2 rebounds, and the team is in line for a top seed at the tournament, although now it will be without its top rebounder. According to The New York Times, Davies’s status as a student and his eligibility at B.Y.U next season have not yet been decided.
B.Y.U. is owned and operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and its honor code requires academic honesty, chastity and grooming standards. Banned behaviors include gambling, cursing and homosexual relations, and coffee, alcohol and tobacco and “erotic” or “indecent” materials are all prohibited as well.
The announcement of Davie’s dismissal was made last night, and Coach Dave Rose is expected to address the issue after a home game tonight. No details about the specific violation have been released, with the school citing privacy concerns.
While it’s unfortunate for the school, and especially for Davies’s teammates, to lose a solid player at such a critical time, it’s nice to hear stories about integrity being upheld in an era when victory is usually regarded with more importance than how it is achieved.