BYU hoops star suspended for sex acts
By Valerie Richardson
The Washington Times
8:42 p.m., Thursday, March 3, 2011
The same behavior that cost Brandon Davies the rest of his basketball season at Brigham Young University might have earned him an “A” at Northwestern.
BYU stunned the college hoops world Wednesday by suspending the 19-year-old sophomore for violating the school’s honor code by having premarital sex with his girlfriend. The same week, Northwestern University drew headlines after a psychology class featured a live sex act.
While both episodes come as a shock, there’s no question which report generated the most heat. The Davies suspension spilled Thursday from the sports section to the front page as commentators debate whether BYU was too tough on the teen for engaging in what would be regarded anywhere else as a youthful indiscretion at worst.
The loss of Mr. Davies comes as an enormous blow to the third-ranked Cougars’ chances for a national championship. The 6-foot-9 forward was regarded as the second-best player on the team, behind only player of the year candidate Jimmer Fredette, in a season that was shaping up as the best in the school’s history.
Even so, BYU boosters and students are for the most part standing behind the school’s decision. An online poll taken by the Deseret (Utah) News found 81 percent of those responding in agreement with the university, with just 9 percent finding the punishment overly harsh.
Brigham Young University head basketball coach Dave Rose (right), university spokeswoman Carrie Jenkins and BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe discuss at a news conference in Provo, Utah, on Thursday the decision to suspend Brandon Davies, the starting center, off the third-ranked basketball team for violating BYU's honor code. (Associated Press)Brigham Young University head basketball coach Dave Rose (right), university spokeswoman Carrie Jenkins and BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe discuss at a news conference in Provo, Utah, on Thursday the decision to suspend Brandon Davies, the starting center, off the third-ranked basketball team for violating BYU’s honor code. (Associated Press)
David Livingston, a BYU freshman and basketball fan, said most students were crestfallen upon hearing the news, concluding that the school’s chances of success had vanished, but that since then the campus has rallied.
“Within a day, students started theorizing about our options on the court. Many people commented on how they missed Davies and still loved him,” Mr. Livingston said in an e-mail. “As of now the status on campus is an understanding and forgiving but slightly disappointed one.”
At the same time, he said, he thought the suspension was fair.
“Everybody at BYU knows the rules and the suspension further reminds everybody on campus that nobody, even a staple of our extremely successful basketball team, is exempt from the rules,” said Mr. Livingston.