Crushing Blow

March 4, 2011

It wasn’t a criminal offense. It wasn’t a recruiting violation. It wasn’t even a spat with a member of the coaching staff or another player. It was a violation of a school honor code. As crushing a defeat as it is, I’m torn as to how I really feel about the decision.

It was announced that BYU starting forward Brandon Davies was dismissed from the team on Monday, due to his admitting having sexual relations with his girlfriend, which is against BYU’s strict honor code.

On one hand, this is refreshing to see. Although the school is in a good position to make a serious run in the upcoming NCAA tournament, it continues to hold all its students to the high standards that they were aware of upon applying to the university. That isn’t something you can say of every school these days, given they were put in a similar situation.

However, from a purely basketball standpoint, this is a crushing blow to both BYU itself and fans across the nation that were hoping Jimmer & Co. might be able to knock off some of the major powers in the tournament. Without Davies, the Cougars’ low post game is severely compromised. In watching BYU bang with San Diego State during last weekend’s showdown, I saw a team that played tough down low, and wouldn’t be overwhelmed in the post against anyone. Often times, that is the downfall of the great mid-major teams; they have the speed and outside shooting, but lack the post presence to outlast the best teams in the tournament. I did not see that issue with the Cougars.

However, without Davies, BYU may have become one of those close, but not quite there mid-major teams. Davies was arguably the third best player on BYU’s squad, and was undoubtedly their best low post presence. In BYU’s game Wednesday against New Mexico, their first without Davies, the Cougars shot 33 percent from the field and were outrebounded 36-25. This could just be a fluke, but I fear for BYU fans that it is not.

The Cougars have already done enough to garner at worst a three seed, barring an unforeseen collapse to end the season and an early exit in the Mountain West conference tournament. They still have the talent to make it to the second weekend of the tournament. But for a team that wanted to duplicate the success of fellow mid-major Butler, that isn’t enough. Unfortunately, they will have to try to achieve their goal sans Davies, which seems unlikely.

– K. Becks

2 Responses to Crushing Blow

  1. Borgkum on March 6, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    In this day and age, with college athletes frequently having multiple children whilst still “attending class”, this is a bit of an oddity. As a BW grad, I certainly appreciate BYU sticking to their guns. They certainly do not represent the usual societal values, but they made that clear to everyone. Just as at BW we had a dress code, and we signed off on that, giving the One-Eyed Bandit full reign to take our greenbacks for showing our shirttails. My question is: how did the powers that be at BYU determine this was happening? Do they have the right to search rooms for, say, contraceptives? Is the woman pregnant? I think this would be incredibly humiliating for Davies, and would be interested in knowing if his civil liberties were violated by the school.

    • K. Becks on March 7, 2011 at 12:38 pm

      You bring up some very good points. I was wondering myself how they were able to find him guilty of the violation of the honor code. My guess would be that either they caught him, or school officials were tipped off by another student. Either way, he had to tell the truth because the honor code explicitly mentions that as well.

      Like you, I am impressed with the university that they are sticking to their guns. I’m also impressed with your particular comment, as you didn’t once mention the effect that this ruling could have on the BYU basketball team’s chances in the NCAA tournament. That in itself is extremely difficult to do in an age where players are let off the hook for seemingly much worse offenses, as we are all too often left to debate the impact on a game, rather than on the people actually affected.

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