Jewish Journal

Love and basketball and religion

by Brad A. Greenberg

March 3, 2011 | 12:23 pm

UCLA is getting ready to take on University of Washington tonight and hold onto the PAC-10 conference title. In Provo, Utah, a once-glorious basketball season for the third-ranked team in the country isn’t looking so good. Tuesday night the team dismissed its third-leading scorer for violation of the school’s honor code, and last night that led to BYU getting blownout by the unranked the New Mexico Lobos.

I mention this here because BYU’s honor code is a little different than that at other top athletic universities. As a Mormon institution, they have higher standards. And while plenty of college football programs fill their rosters with guys with rap sheets—coincidentally, that is the Sports Illustrated cover story this week—BYU’s Brandon Davies’ dismissal was not for criminal conduct. The Salt Lake Tribune reports it was for having premarital sex:

Two of Davies’ teammates, Jimmer Fredette and Charles Abouo, said Wednesday night after the loss that they stand behind their former teammate and have no resentment toward him, saying they consider him a brother.

“Everyone makes mistakes in their life,” Abouo said. “We are reaching out and trying to help him get through this.”

Something tells me either Southern Methodist University has no such honor code or enforced it even less in the ‘80s than the football team followed NCAA regulations.

Honor codes like this, though, are not uncommon at private sectarian schools. It’s just that athletic programs like BYU’s are incredibly uncommon for those schools likely to have honor codes.

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Since launching the blog in 2007, I’ve referred to myself as “a God-fearing Christian with devilishly good Jewish looks.” The description, I’d say, is an accurate one,...

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