On Wednesday, Utah's Brigham Young University announced that it would suspend starting center Brandon Davies from the school's basketball team for having premarital sex with his girlfriend. BYU, which is affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, is known for its strictness. It also forbids coffee, smoking, and dishonesty of any kind. Still, the news came as a shock to college basketball fans, since the 6-foot-9-inch Davies had been an integral part of BYU's dominant Cougars, who are among the nation's top teams. Davies himself has expressed remorse for his actions, but did the school go too far?
The code is ridiculous, but so is Davies: "I'm not sure which is more asinine: The school's honor code, or any young person in America agreeing to live by it," says John Cave Osborn at Babble. But the fact remains that "BYU can define 'honor' in any way it chooses," and "anyone who is not 100 percent in agreement with these puritanical expectations" is a fool to agree to them. Sadly, Davies got what he deserved.
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This was the right thing to do: For the most part, BYU's students agree with the decision to suspend Davies, says The Deseret News. His behavior is "really selfish," says BYU diver Nikki Przybyla, as quoted by the News. "It's not just impacting him and his life, it's affecting his team. He has kids around the country that look up to him and that's not a way to set an example." And Pat Matheson, a lacrosse player, says that "those who would mock BYU for suspending their starting center right before March Madness do so thinking only of sports."
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Either way, this is terrible for the team: No matter what you think of BYU's stance, says Eamonn Brennan at ESPN, it's undeniable that suspending Davies is "devastating." And that's not just because "BYU is now likely to lose its grip on a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament." It's also a matter of timing. After losing a key player, BYU will need an "adjustment period" that unfortunately falls at the very end of the season.
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