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From the Salt Lake Tribune:
BYU center Brandon Davies was suspended from the Cougars’ nationally ranked team for the remainder of the season because he violated the school’s honor code provision that prohibits premarital sex, The Salt Lake Tribune has learned.
Davies, a sophomore from Provo High School, acknowledged his transgression to BYU officials on Monday, according to multiple sources.
After BYU’s stunning 82-64 loss to New Mexico on Wednesday night, Cougars coach Dave Rose addressed Davies’ dismissal for the first time, saying, “I think it was a surprise to everyone.”
Asked whether he believes Davies will play basketball for BYU again, Rose said, “yeah, I do.”
On Tuesday, the school owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced Davies had been dismissed from the team but was being allowed to remain in school while his situation was under review by the Honor Code Office.
We're not here to talk about other people's morals, but we will say this reminds us that BYU is a whole different ballgame than pretty much every other college (and college athletic program). At some places, a petty crime won't even get you kicked out of the starting lineup. One step up maybe means you miss the first few sequences of a game. You'd have to move up to a felony, or at least a series of misdemeanors, before a year-long suspension was considered.
As noted by ESPN.com:
BYU's honor code also requires students to be honest; abstain from alcoholic beverages, tobacco, tea, coffee and substance abuse; and attend church regularly.
Davies was a starter for BYU averaging about 11 points and six rebounds a game. In its first game without him last night, the Cougars were trounced by New Mexico for just their third loss of the season. It will be interesting to see if there is any backlash and pressure to reinstate Davies. A code is a code. A Final Four is a Final Four.
The media can get a little high and mighty, demanding apologies for this and condemning that. With that said, we don't think there is any doubt Bruce Pearl had some explaining to do for this "joke" Thursday, made at a fundraiser:
"I've got guys from Chicago, Detroit ... I'm talking about the 'hood! And I've got guys from Grainger County, where they wear the hood.''
See what he did there! He made a funny! He used the same word to describe both the impoversihed areas where some of his players come from, and the backwards, Ku Klux Klan towns where others come from! Why, some people who "wear the hood" might intimidate -- or worse -- those from "the hood." Hey wait. That's not funny at all.
Pearl, of course, apologized. And now we're going to do that thing we hate even more: nitpick about what was said during the apology. Said Pearl:
"This morning while speaking at a private kick-off event for a great organization that benefits many local charities, I made a statement in jest to describe the diverse group our staff recruits year-in and year-out. Unfortunately while I was trying to excite the crowd and encourage employees to give, I made an inappropriate joke. I certainly did not intend to offend anyone and I apologize to everyone, especially the people of Grainger County. In no way am I trying to justify what I said, but I'm disappointed that the focus has been placed on me rather than the charities I was there to help. My only hope is that the visibility of this mistake will encourage those who can to give to those in need during these difficult times.''
Most of that is just fine, and really spot-on. It's the "I made a statement in jest" part that's still eating at us. Even though he acknowledges that it was inappropriate, it still feels like part of Pearl is saying, "come on, it was a joke." And that when speaking off the cuff, as the story indicates, that's the way the coach's mind works.
He doesn't need to be sanctioned or disciplined. We're not on that type of high horse. But we're guessing Pearl might have some more thinking to do about what constitutes joking material, regardless of whether he actually says it or not.