Thursday, March 03, 2011

Hats off to BYU!

In case you haven't noticed, I'm Catholic, not a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  For the record, I have serious disagreements with much of their theology, and while we hold some moral standards in common (chastity for one), there are plenty of things they consider immoral that I do not (like drinking coffee or alcohol).  That being said, I'll tell you that I'm highly impressed with actions taken today by BYU, a university run by the LDS church which unabashedly calls on students to uphold the teachings of that church and to follow the lifesyle it promotes.  BYU, a school with a big-time (and I'm sure big-bucks) sports program, suspended a star athlete because he violated their honor code and had pre-marital sex.

While it is true that I share BYU's belief that pre-marital sex is wrong, I'd be just as much in their corner if they had suspended him for a latte grande from the local coffee shop.  He signed an honor code saying he would abide by certain behavioral norms, norms with which he was quite familiar having been raised, according to the article I read, in the LDS faith.  The school put its principles first, and the sports team second.  How many schools at that level can say the same thing?

When I started this article, I went to BYU's website, thinking I'd grab some graphic to illustrate this article, and I have to say, I was impressed.  First of all, I really had to dig to find the athletic links.  The university's website is about the school, not the football or basketball team.  Secondly, they put forth very strongly that they are about teaching their students how, in their opinion, to reach everlasting life.  Would that our Catholic universities were as strong in their support of Catholicism.


  1. I respect the fact that you are wishing people would honor their word and the commitments they sign up for. Hurray for that.

  2. As a BYU alum and member of the LDS church I appreciate your support. Attending BYU is a privilege and willingly agreeing to abide by the Honor Code is part of the deal. I applaud Davies for coming forward and being honest despite the consequences he knew would follow.

  3. Nice to see a university actually make kids live up to their promise. I think there are Catholic colleges that do the same; they just don't have big sports programs that make the news

  4. Thank you for such a positive response to the issue! I'm a BYU alum and it was a great place to get an education. I loved being around people who had the same values, if not the same faith, that I did.

    The honor code is part of BYU. Those who don't agree with it don't go there. No one is forced to sign it. But of those who do, people are human and mistakes are made. It can't have been easy for Davies to come forward, but he did and I admire how his teammates have rallied around him and supported him, rather than condemned and criticized him.

    Every choice has a consequence whether it's good or negative. He'll have to pay the consequences, but hopefully will be able to move forward and return to the team.

  5. Quite interesting! It is good that certain religious education institutions still stick by their morals. Quite rare in this modern world which is a shame. An contract is a contract, if he didn't like it, I'm sure there are plenty of other unis - both secular and religious - who wouldn't require doing so. Good on BYU!

  6. Like all your other commenters, I agree with the university. When you know the rules going in, it is your choice to accept or decline.

    I'm glad you mentioned their web site, saying that sports did not get the top priority, because one of my thoughts was about recruitment. I wondered if pressure is put on athletes and scholarships doled out to get the high performers without consideration of whether they can resist things like coffee, let alone, sex. I wondered how much counseling goes on prior to admittance.

    A definite news worthy story, it was. I'm glad the young man handled it with a humble attitude, so that the conservative versus liberal media would not have an ongoing field day with it.


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