Brandon Davies was suspended from the Brigham Young University basketball team for the remainder of this season for violating the BYU honor code which forbids premarital sex.
This is not the first time the school has taken such an action.
In 1997, Ronney Jenkins was suspended from the football team for the entire season after it was discovered he was having sex with his girlfriend. He broke the code a second time and was dismissed from the school. His story was eventually the subject of an HBO Real Sports piece on the BYU honor code in 1999.
Every university has the right to set up its own code of ethics and standards. Every athlete who goes to BYU knows what they are in for. But there were two stories this week that made me question the punishment of Davies and examine the hypocrisy of our society.
A CBS News Sports Illustrated Special Report revealed that 7% of college football players in Top 25 schools had a criminal record. Among the charges discussed were assault, burglary and domestic violence. In Davies’ home state of Utah, a football player convicted of a felony robbery was able to sign a letter of intent to go to the University of Utah because he was charged as a juvenile. He will have a full scholarship to play football next season.
Davies took nothing away from, nor inflicted bodily harm on anyone. He did what most people, regardless of age, do with their partners.
Also in the news, if you have a pulse, you’ve probably heard that Charlie Sheen is on some kind of media blitz.
Sheen, 45, is currently out of work as his show “Two and a Half Men” has been dropped for the rest of the season, due to his run-ins with the law. Sheen has a history of engaging in drunken and drug-induced rampages of sex and violence against women. He now lives with his “goddesses”— a porn star and a model—and seems determined to live his life as if it were a filming of “Caligula.”
His two sons have been temporarily removed from his custody. He is a grown man with responsibilities to himself, his family and the people he works with. His behavior is nothing short of erratic and alarming. Yet he is the fastest person to obtain one million followers on Twitter and is reveling in the attention, as are the media. He has even gone ahead and demanded he be paid three million dollars per episode.
How can Sheen be celebrated for acting irresponsibly and a 19-year-old kid is barred from playing in the NCAA tournament for having sex with his girlfriend? Davies should be punished for breaking the school’s code, but not as drastically as he was. There has to be a middle ground where the school upholds its values and the young man accepts the consequences of his actions.
In the end, is anybody really WINNING here?