Dishonouring the code

March 25, 2011
Will Loewen |

If you're reading this article on this page, then you are probably far too pious  to put five dollars into a pot and fill out an NCAA March Madness bracket.  I play so cautiously and there have been so many upsets this year that my bracket is completely shot already.  I've generally done quite well though, so I feel quite willing to share some of my secrets.  In the first round I always pick two ninth seeds, two tenth seeds, and one each of the eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth seeds to win.  The later rounds get a little tricky, but there are always a few questions you need to answer first before filling out the later rounds.  One of them is always, "When will Duke lose?"  This year the other question was, "When will BYU lose?"  Turns out the answer was "in the third round" and I was right.  Too bad I was wrong about so many other things.

BYU was supposed to be great and they had a legit shot at winning the whole tournament.  They were supposed to be one of the four number one seeds coming into the tournament, but they entered only as a number three seed and evidently they didn't even deserve that.  But something happened in between their stay at the top and their mediocre finish at the big tournament, their top player got suspended.  A player getting suspended isn't a big surprise, this happens at the collegiate level from time to time.  That he got suspended by his own school rather than the NCAA is a little more surprising.  But what's most surprising of all is why he got suspended.  Brandon Davies got suspended for violating the school's honour code, and code of behaviour that all students, not just athletes, agree to live by as a condition to studying at that school.  So what would be so heinous a violation of this code that the school would decide to suspend their star athlete on the best basketball team that school has ever assembled, a team that was likely to win a lot of games and generate a lot of revenue and national interest in their school?  He didn't cheat on a test, he didn't sell or take drugs, he simply had consensual sex with his girlfriend.

BYU immediately became laughingstock of the NCAA system and the butt of a number of late night TV show jokes.  One of those jokes though was that many fathers would now be sending their daughters to BYU.  Not since Prince William enrolled in a public university has there been this big an incentive for parents to choose the school their children attend.

Students at schools all across the US and Canada, including Christian schools read this story and thought that something like that would never happen at their school.  This couldn't happen at CMU or other Mennonite affiliated schools in this country because none of them have athletic programs worth destroying.  These schools all have similar codes of conduct that ask their students to refrain from pre-marital sex, but what does the enforcement look like?  I certainly don't want to hold up the values of the LDS church or the legacy of Brigham Young as an individual, but this school has raised the bar for ethics in Christian schools, and I'm not convinced that our Canadian Mennonite schools are prepared to meet those same standards.

Author Name: 
Will Loewen
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Uh . . . so how did he get busted?

There were rumours that his girlfriend was pregnant, but the official story is that he freely admitted it. I can't find any article that definitively says if he didn't think it would be a big deal or if he was just guilt stricken.

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