Blog Entry

BYU's honor code from the football side

Posted on: March 2, 2011 1:54 pm
Edited on: March 2, 2011 1:55 pm
PROVO, Utah -- In the middle of a spectacular sunny afternoon at the foot of the Wasatch Mountains, Bronco Mendenhall brought up the subject of player conduct. The BYU football coach probably didn't understand that a revealing look at the school's honor code would, in a few hours, take on added significance. 

It turns out Mendenhall was speaking hours before BYU suspended basketball center Brandon Davies on Tuesday for an honor code violation. The information was released Tuesday night. 

BYU is in the process of transitioning from the Mountain West to independent status in football. Almost all of its other sports will play in the West Coast Conference beginning next season. There is more urgency right now in basketball because it is seeking its first No. 1 seed. Davies was a key element in that chase. 

Here is BYU's honor code. You've probably heard or read about it in the past. The basics: honesty, chastity, abiding by the law, clean language, no alcohol, tobacco, tea or coffee and dress and grooming standards. Pertaining to nothing in this blog, it also includes a clause dealing with homosexuality.  

We didn't talk Tuesday about Mendenhall losing lost star running back Harvey Unga in April. Unga voluntarily withdrew from school because of an undisclosed honor code violation. These Mendenhall quotes are from an interview dealing with football independence. Once again, the Davies suspension had not been announced. 

"It doesn't mean that we still don't have a young man who makes a mistake out there," the coach said. "I'll lose about five players a year, probably, through academic choices or social choices or honor code choices ...

"To my knowledge we have the highest GPA in the country. When you're talking about recruiting young men, we're talking 3.3 cum [grade-point average] with at least a 19 [ACT] plus honor-code endorsed plus Division I [talent]. If we lose a player who, for some reason, hasn't had success here you're talking about an increased difficulty in him being replaced. We lose about 40 percent of our team every year through [two-year] missions and graduations. It's probably the highest turnover of any program in the country ...

"We really recruit quite a different kid. We will run into Stanford more than we'll run into Utah [in recruiting]."

Mendenhall said BYU players are a mix of those with Stanford's academic standards, the moral standards of military academy recruits with a "dust of Notre Dame". That refers to the religious underpinnings of the school. Oh, and they have to be good enough play in "a top 25 program." 

"Rather than complain about it," he said, "I see it as a great competitive advantage ... It matters how we play and it also matters how the kids live. More importantly it matters what they represent."

Mendenhall was reminded that, because of that honor code, what would be news at BYU isn't,  necessarily, at other schools. The trade-off, perhaps, is that the coach doesn't have to lecture his players on Fridays about staying out of trouble over the weekend. "I don't say that at all," Mendenhall said. It assumed they will walk the straight and narrow. He added that the 15 members of the football team who aren't Mormon, are seeking the same structure as the Mormon Church provides for members. 

"Grade-point average has been a better predictor of social conduct than religious preference," said Mendenhall who has coached at BYU six seasons. "The higher the grade-point average of these kids coming in, the more obedient they are, the more faithful they are."

Over those six seasons, a question was asked of each of the players: Why did you choose BYU? Ninety percent, the coach said, replied "faith." 

"Most of them want to be around like-minded youth," he said. "Catholic kids, Methodist kids, Lutheran kids that come, I don't offer any of them scholarships unless their parents come on campus. How do you explain through words or pictures what this is?"
Category: NCAAF
Tags: BYU, Stanford, Utah

Since: Jan 24, 2011
Posted on: March 5, 2011 3:21 pm

BYU's honor code from the football side

Since: Feb 24, 2011
Posted on: March 5, 2011 12:42 pm

BYU's honor code from the football side

Since: Oct 9, 2006
Posted on: March 5, 2011 2:43 am

BYU's honor code from the football side

He agreed to the honor code (why anyone would agree to this insanity is beyond me) so  YES breaking the honor code involves consequences. But it is the consequences that have me baffled. Cruelty, humiliation, embarrassment, and shame are all words that come to mind. Definitely not Christ like characteristics if you ask me. I think it is horrible that BYU will throw this kid out to the curb like he is garbage, publicly humiliate him in the press, and ruin his reputation as a normal human being. How is that acceptable treatment, I don't know him personally, but I am pretty sure that I don't think this is what Jesus would do. In fact, regular mormon members of that cult (who are not college students at byu), are treated completely different for sins they may commit. If a high school mormon kid has sex, he goes to his bishop and confesses the sin and has to repent. But he is not thrown to the curb nor is it broad casted to the world nor is he verbally abused. It is a double standard. Throw in that he is an african american athlete and the past three people thrown to the curb by the BYU athletic department all happen to be african americans is disheartening. Where is the NAACP? It makes me sick, and I hate BYU with every bone in my body, I love that their season is ruined, but I hate how they are treating a kid who had a natural urge and acted on it. It's not like he stabbed someone to death..... this is exactly why nobody will be inviting BYU to ever join a BCS conference, this drama and how they discriminate against others (ie. Prop 8). Congrats Yners, your destined to be in the little leagues. Tunnel vision, someone turn on the light! Please stop treating people inhumane!

Since: Jan 4, 2011
Posted on: March 3, 2011 11:53 pm

BYU's honor code from the football side

3.3 cum (GPA). Since when was GPA known as cum?

Since: Jan 4, 2009
Posted on: March 3, 2011 2:30 am

BYU's honor code from the football side

oooh yes. because sex is so evil.

not to mention the fact that the tea is the sign of the devil and satan loves coffee.

Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: March 3, 2011 12:15 am

BYU's honor code from the football side

"If Jimmer Fredette had done the same exact thing instead of Davies, would he have been immediately dismissed or put on probation? I say just probation!"

Well, then, you're wrong. Did you not read the article, and do you not know anything about the BYU football program? In 2009, BYU kicked the school's all-time leading rusher off the team because of an Honor Code violation. I know it's hard for outsiders to understand, but BYU really does put its values and mission ahead of winning games or championships.

Since: Nov 19, 2007
Posted on: March 2, 2011 11:57 pm

BYU's honor code from the football side

At least Byu has honor! You have a school like UofLoserville that has no honor, and still get away with everything. 
The basics: honesty, chastity, abiding by the law, clean language, no alcohol,
UofLoserville has two student who beat up on a cop and never, ever had a lose of playing time. Then another student beat up his Girlfriend father over a hair bush, and still no loss of playing time! Then they allow a student who got kicked off of your team, for breaking their code, UofLoserville give him a free ride, knowing he push his girlfriend down the steps while holding his child! The school head coach cheated and lied to his wife. The school had a clause stating if the coach bought any bad press, he would be fired, and what happen to this coach who lied and cheated and got the US govt invole in this, he got a pay raised!!!! That school is a joke, and an embrassedment of the city of Louisville. At BYU has honor and does follow their code!!!!!

Since: Sep 26, 2008
Posted on: March 2, 2011 11:41 pm

BYU's honor code from the football side

The Jimmer comment is baseless conjecture that will incite some haters but will prove nothing.

Since: Jul 27, 2009
Posted on: March 2, 2011 10:51 pm

One Poignant Question

If Jimmer Fredette had done the same exact thing instead of Davies, would he have been immediately dismissed or put on probation? I say just probation!

Since: Aug 18, 2008
Posted on: March 2, 2011 9:38 pm

BYU's honor code from the football side

Tea and coffee??? 

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