Friday, March 4, 2011

Unit, Corps, God, Country

Sir. For any normal, living, breathing human being, you know that today's title is the "code" for the U.S. Marines in the movie A Few Good Men. If for some reason you don't know that, stop reading this post, run, don't walk to the nearest TV and odds are the movie should be on TNT, TBS or another movie channel. And then give yourself minus 50 points for never seeing the movie.

So where were we...ahh, yes, the code. We all know that code. And in the last 48 hours, the college basketball world has learned about a new code, the BYU Honor Code. That's because the third ranked Cougs, led by everyone's favorite - Jimmer, lost one of their best players for the rest of the SEASON because he violated the school's Honor Code. Brandon Davies, the sophomore forward, was third on the team in scoring, first in rebounding and first in honor code violations. The news broke on Wednesday that Davies would not be able to participate with the basketball team for the rest of the season because he had premarital sex, which is against the code. Dismissed from the team (his name isn't even on the roster on the school's website anymore) during the day, the Cougs than went out and laid an egg against New Mexico at home, losing 82-64 (on a side note - BYU is now winless against NM in their last four regular season matchups). Even the previously indestructible Jimmer was 1-9 from 3 pt land on Wednesday night.

Things you won't see anymore: Davies dunking
Do we feel bad for Davies and the Cougs? Definitely. They were having an unbelievable season, just completed the season sweep of San Diego State, and were putting themselves in line to be a number 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. At the same time though, Davies and all other students at BYU know what they are signing up for. The Honor Code at BYU contains things that all of us probably violated within the first 48 hours of stepping onto our college campus. Things that are included in the code: using clean language, abstaining from alcoholic beverages, tobacco, tea, coffee, and substance abuse, observing the dress and grooming standard, etc. Raise your hand if you got through a week of college obeying those rules. Heck, raise your hand if you got through this morning without any violations. So yes, 99% didn't want an Honor Code to be a part of our college experience, and many of those things might seem outlandish and ridiculous.

I'll tell you who did want those rules as part of their college experience though, Brandon Davies and the other 33,999 (approximate) students that are currently enrolled at BYU. Are all of those students perfect? Probably not. Do some of those students violate the Honor Code and get away with it? I'd bet, yes. The bottom line is, Davies knew what he was signing up for. He knew what the Honor Code was. He knew that if he violated the code, there would be consequences. Just because people violate the code and get away with it, doesn't make it right. Once you make the decision to break the rules, you need to be willing to accept the punishment. Just because someone drives drunk and gets away with it, doesn't mean they didn't break the law. They did indeed break the law, and if they continue to test the system, eventually it's going to come back to haunt them. In the case of Brandon Davies, it's not only haunting him, but also his teammates, his family, and the entire University.

Whether or not BYU is trying to set an example by coming down hard on a high-profile athlete is besides the point. There is a code and you need to obey the code. If that's not for you, go to another school. There are plenty of more options out there.

With that said, it is a shame that BYU won't be full strength going into post season play. Davies was a very big part of their team, especially in rebounding/defensive aspects of the game. I don't think the blow-out loss to New Mexico is that alarming, as the Cougs had just heard news of Davies dismissal earlier that day and were pretty shell-shocked. As we mentioned, New Mexico has had BYU's number as well, winning their previous four matchups. It's not clear where BYU will be ranked heading into the tournament, probably a 2 seed.

One thing that is clear though, don't sleep on the Cougs. They'll still be a tough out and a feared team in two weeks. I don't think anyone in the country wants to line up against Jimmer in a do or die, win or go home tournament. Are we clear? Crystal.

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