Thursday, March 3, 2011

BYU and Commitment

Only time will tell if BYU placed doing what is right principle above a possible run in the NCAA tournament.   After the loss to New Mexico last night by 18, it is easy to say that either because of disappointment of the situation or the missing play of Brandon Davies, or both, the Cougars are a different basketball team than they were Monday morning.  We can debate the merits of the decision or societal norms and how that plays out, but one thing you cannot question is that all BYU students know what they are getting into by going there.

In that regard, it is refreshing to see BYU and their fans standing behind that honor code.

I'm not saying every university should abide by such stringent rules.  I am not saying BYU should have less stringent rules.  I am saying that when you agree to something and fail to live by that agreement, there are ramifications and those ramifications might affect more than just you.  Right now, it would be easy to blame BYU coach Dave Rose.  It would be easy to blame BYU's administration.  It would be easy to blame an athletic program that doesn't value winning above all else.  For that matter, it would be easy to blame Brandon Davies.

Instead, BYU fans are nearly universal in standing behind the University and their coach.  And their player. Even though that means they are likely to lose out on a possible deep run in the NCAA tournament.  No blaming Dave Rose for recruiting sex crazed pervs or being too tough on kids just doin' they thing.  No rumors of 4Loko fueled profanity fests involving free condoms and blow.  No blaming/threats that the AD "better straighten them out" or else.  No angst that the coach is too nice for his own good.

As Dave Rose said:
"A lot of people try to judge if this is right or wrong, but it's a commitment they make. It's not about right or wrong. It's about commitment."
Very simple.  Very elegant. Not always easy to remember.  Certainly not always easy to enforce.

It is good that this debate is ongoing.  Every college has their own way of dealing with (or ignoring) student misconduct.  Brandon Davies isn't the first BYU student to get brought up on honor code violations for getting his groove on.  He won't be the last.  Traditional media is treating athlete misconduct like it is a new phenomenon.  It isn't.  Maybe BYU's fans have given us a new model for reacting to how a coach and program handles athlete misconduct.

Then again, maybe I have too much faith in fans.


  1. It is quite simple, actually: you make a commitment to a school to play ball for them; they, in turn, make one to educate you in whatever field you choose, feed and house you and assist you by training and refining your ball skills. Like our military academies and officer training have a code: "I will not lie, cheat, nor steal, nor tolerate among us those who do"..simple and accept the rules and do the job. There are always easier routes in life but "the road least taken", is the high route and, really, it's not that difficult to take. Well done, Coach Rose, you've taught your players something about hornor and integrity that will not be soon forgotten.

  2. Unless they play UGA I will be cheering for BYU for as long as their tournament run lasts, here is hoping that they show you can have your principles and win games too.

  3. As a Georgia native, huge Dawg fan, and BYU alum, I couldn't be more proud of the way BYU handled this situation and the way UGA deals with issues. It is refreshing that there is still honor in college athletics and with coaches such as Dave Rose and Mark Richt.