Those who listen to my radio show or watch me on Fox News, are aware by now that I know more about basket-weaving than basketball; I’m just not a sports guy.
But this week there was a story that, to me, transcends the sports world. The Brigham Young University basketball team, which had risen to the number 3 ranking in the nation, dismissed Brandon Davies, their 6’9 forward from the team for an “Honor Code” violation. I’m told he was their leading rebounder and third leading scorer on the team.
Apparently, not everyone was impressed with the move. NBA star, Amare Stoudamire of the New York Knicks, Tweeted, "Don't ever go to BYU," on his verified Twitter account. "They kick a Young Educated (Black) Brother OUT OF SCHOOL. The kid had premarital sex. Not suspended, Not Release. Wow!"
A second post read, "P.S. With his girlfriend. Come on BYU don't kick the kid out of school. Let's be honest he is in college. Let the kid live a little. #AntiBYU."
Well Amare, some say that kids CAN “live a little” without having premarital sex. Hard to believe, I know. There’s also the issue of every student at BYU signing the “Honor Code” when they enroll. They don’t HAVE to, they could actually attend school somewhere else, but choosing BYU, means you choose the Honor Code.
What IS the Honor Code? In a nutshell, all BYU students agree to "live a chaste and virtuous life." Students are also required to be honest; abstain from alcoholic beverages, tobacco, tea, coffee and substance abuse; and attend church regularly.
Since Stoudamire also threw race into the equation, let me just add that just last April, BYU dismissed from their football team, due to an Honor Code violation, their ALL TIME leading rusher, Harvey Unga, who is not a “brother.”
Was there ever a time in America, when an NBA player might have written, “I highly recommend that talented young athletes go to BYU. They have just dismissed one of their star players for violating their standards. The Cougars were a sure thing for a number one seed in the upcoming NCAA tournament, but compared to sticking to their principles, that just didn’t matter to them.
Neither, apparently, did the huge potential revenue from going deep in the tournament this year, and possibly even a trip to the Final Four. Refreshing to see there are still some things more important than winning basketball games and making money. Wow!” Could we have seen that response ten years ago? Twenty? Fifty? Probably not, there was no Twitter then. But you get the point.
Others have asked, “hey, I understand that BYU has rules, but what about forgiveness? Wouldn’t the REAL Christian thing be to forgive Brandon Davies?”
I’m sure they HAVE forgiven him. Davies has already apologized to the team for letting them down. His teammates seem to have forgiven him, I’m sure the school administration has, as well.
But forgiving him doesn’t mean there are no consequences. There HAVE to be consequences. Davies knew what those would be if he violated the honor code, and now he must accept personal responsibility for his actions. He’s only a sophomore, he could certainly be back next year.
As painful as this is for Davies, the rest of his Cougar teammates and their fans right now, BYU is doing something far more important than winning basketball games here, they are teaching important lessons, holding firm to their values, and preparing students for LIFE after school. Isn’t that what it’s all about?
By the way, the day Davies was dismissed from the team, the Cougars promptly went out, and lost at home for the first time all season, putting their post season hopes for a big run in the NCAA tournament in serious jeopardy.
But maybe they’ve done something else in the process. Maybe they’ve helped boost our hopes that there is still room in our society for integrity, values and personal responsibility?
Glenn Beck is the host of "Glenn Beck" which airs weekdays at 5 p.m. ET on Fox News Channel. Glenn Beck and Keith Ablow, M.D. have also written a new book together. To read an excerpt from "The 7: Seven Wonders That Will Change Your Life," click here.