How do BYU athletes get caught?

By: shenpa warrior
March 2, 2011

It *seems* like athletes at BYU have a target on their backs for honor code violations. How are they getting caught?

Is it unfounded to assume that there is a lot more going on among athletes at BYU than gets reported? If that is the case, why do certain athletes like basketball player Brandon Davies (who was dismissed yesterday from the team yesterday for an honor code violation) get caught? Are they just being foolish and doing really dumb things in the public eye, or are they being followed?

One facebook comment I read yesterday suggested that guys like him get turned in to the honor code police by their “friends.”

Really? There are people at BYU turning each other in?

I am a mandated reporter. I have to report cases of abuse, neglect, or intent to harm self or others. I understand fully even just a casual “friend” reporting something like that to the school (and often the police). If it wasn’t something like that, why would anyone turn in their friend?

I’m sure there is some noble intention behind turning in a friend or classmate.

What is it?

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70 Responses to How do BYU athletes get caught?

  1. brandt on March 2, 2011 at 6:54 AM

    I’m sure there are people out there who feel it to be their own personal mission to protect the integrity of LDS members they know, as if God commissioned them to be that person’s own personal compass for conscience. I know, because I interacted with roomates like that in college. The BYU-Idaho honor board was notorious for “Guilty before proven innocent.”

    However.

    Wouldn’t a large part of it be that these athletes are “celebrities,” and as such, are put under a microscope? Look at any high-profile person, whether they be politician, athlete, or celebrity, and look at how voyeristic we want to be with them. Look at A-Rod being fed popcorn by Cameron Diaz. If that were me and my wife, even if the camera’s did put us on screen, it wouldn’t get the same outcry as A-Rod. Could Davies and people like Harvey Unga be placed in that same high-pressure microscope?

    I guess we’ll wait to see what David Rose is going to say before the game tonight, but I have a feeling it’s going to be a bunch of coach-talk. My thinking is that he’s being dismissed because he got “caught,” not because he confessed to some violation, whigh would be somewhat understandable?

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  2. Dan on March 2, 2011 at 7:25 AM

    yes, people do turn each other in. Gotta love the cultural revolution at BYU.

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  3. Jeff Spector on March 2, 2011 at 7:52 AM

    It seemed to me that Atheles at BYU are given special treatement and that once they are charged with an honor code violation it is because it is widely known. And not a simple cup of coffee.

    But, maybe times have changed, because Jim Mcmahon was given a huge pass to bring a winning team to BYU.

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  4. adamf on March 2, 2011 at 8:03 AM

    brandt – Not only is he an athlete under a microscope – he’s 6’9″ and black. You can’t exactly hide in Provo.

    Dan – I can’t imagine what living in a place like that would be like. I suppose if you’re married it’s not a problem, but for the undergrads it sounds pretty crazy. Anyone here go to BYU as an undergrad?

    Jeff – Yeah, no way this is a coffee issue. I can’t imagine they’d dismiss someone like this unless it was pretty big. I’d hate to think that he has now been nationally embarrassed because he “went too far” one time with a female student, however.

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  5. byuundergrad on March 2, 2011 at 8:20 AM

    I am a current student at byu. Despite what has been suggested, byu is not swarming with self-righteous individuals jumping at any chance to turn one of their “friends” in. In fact, I’ll confess that I sometimes had issues with I guess more minor honor code rules, but was always able to take care of things myself, though my friends and roommates were well aware of them.

    As far as athletes go, the idea of them being followed or under a microscope is ridiculous. It was common knowledge that Harvey Unga had a not-so-chaste relationship with his girlfriend for several years, but he was only kicked off once she started to show and it was undeniable. Everyone here is pretty upset about Davies. I think its pretty unlikely that one of his friends turned him in, cause in my experience anyone that knows you well enough to be sure you’re doing something wrong wouldn’t betray you. My guess is that the girl he messed around with started feeling guilty and confessed to her bishop.

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  6. Jeff Spector on March 2, 2011 at 8:22 AM

    Adamf,

    “I’d hate to think that he has now been nationally embarrassed because he “went too far” one time with a female student, however.”

    Not sure that wil lbe a problem for him. It is more that the sporting community thinks it makes BYU look old fashioned.

    Given the types that are in the NBA these days, it gives the guy street cred and he can enter the draft and jump to the NBA now.

    I am not a big basketball fan these days because of how the game has changed.

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  7. jmb275 on March 2, 2011 at 8:22 AM

    Yeah, I went to BYU as an undergrad, but I’m not a good sample because I was married fairly early.

    I think it’s most unfortunate. I think it’s sad Davies broke the honor code he committed to, and I think it’s sad people feel such a strong urge to protect the integrity of the group. But I think our culture encourages us to do just that. We have a strong sense of community, and there’s nothing people like more than to see a hypocrite get his comeuppance. It seems like mercy often takes a back seat in such cases.

    Anyway, it’s a sad loss to the team and to the fans.

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  8. Jeff Spector on March 2, 2011 at 8:23 AM

    Oh, and not because he’s black, it would do the same for Jimmer as well, though in the LDS community, he’s be toast.

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  9. SLK in SF on March 2, 2011 at 8:27 AM

    Really? There are people at BYU turning each other in?

    I sincerely hope this question is posed tongue in cheek. (I certainly witnessed it, more than once, when I was a student there many years ago.)

    On the other hand, I was once verbally assaulted and very nearly beat up by a twice-my-size Cougar linebacker (in a case of mistaken identity) and was pressured not to say anything about it. In effect, this skinny non-jock took one for the team. :-)

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  10. adamf on March 2, 2011 at 8:31 AM

    byuundergrad – thanks for the comment and your inside perspective. Perhaps it’s only my friends at BYU-I that felt it was swarming with said folk.

    Jeff – Idk, I’d be pretty embarrassed. Also, the NBA has always been rife with immorality, has it not? Didn’t Andre Kirilenko’s wife give him a hall pass a few years ago as a protective measure? (To his credit, he said he never used it, lol).

    Also, I wasn’t saying this is all DUE to his skin color, but you can’t deny that is a factor. Of COURSE they would do the same for a white athlete – black people just have a bigger target on their backs.

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  11. adamf on March 2, 2011 at 8:32 AM

    SLK – Any time I say “Really” it is partially tongue in cheek… although it seems there are many who feel this is not the case re: byuundergrad’s comment above…

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  12. psychochemiker on March 2, 2011 at 8:44 AM

    AdamF.

    Suggesting that people are following others just trying to turn them in may be a sign of schizophrenia, thinking others are out to get you (or others) or just a conspiracy theory.

    While you may be a mandated “reporter” a reporter you are not, because you are relying on a “facebook comment” for your understanding of the situation.

    Many institutions have honor codes, and it is expected that people do keep the institution’s name unsullied by helping their friends keep that code. That is part of what the students sign before they even apply. That is the expectation. Honesty does demand that they follow through with that, or attend another school. If you read wiki’s article on honor codes:

    As such, the codes are not limited merely to academic situations or to conduct on campus; cadets and midshipmen are expected to live by the codes’ ethical standards at all times. Furthermore, they may not tolerate violations by other cadets-toleration itself being a violation of the code, with the exception of the Honor Concept of the Brigade of Midshipmen at the United States Naval Academy, which allows the observer of an honor violation to confront the accused without formally reporting.

    So it seems you just may have a different definition of honest than others do, especially those who write the code. Of course, you have the agency to not attend BYU, and the agency to not pay tithing because it goes to BYU. You have the ability to make the choice, and accept the consequences that go with that choice.

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  13. Jacob S on March 2, 2011 at 9:14 AM

    They get caught, as byuundergrad said, when she starts to show.

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  14. Rachel on March 2, 2011 at 9:14 AM

    I went to byu and never knew anyone personally who got turned in, or to my knowledge turned anyone in.
    I knew lots of folks who violated all kinds of rules, self included. I would think for the most part you’d get turned in if your violation bothered someone insomuch that it negatively affected him/her. Smoking pot vs smoking pot all day every day, the apartment reeks and the roommate is a slob.

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  15. Rachel on March 2, 2011 at 9:22 AM

    What I mean is, people don’t turn each other in for unshaven-ness, or drinking Dr Pepper on campus. :)

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  16. AdamF on March 2, 2011 at 9:45 AM

    psychochemiker – You’re right – I CAN’T rely on anyone’s comment to know what it’s like at BYU. A facebook comment is certainly no more credible than your comment. ;) I appreciate your criticism of my so-called “reporting” skills – but yeah, that’s not my intention here. I write blog posts to get people like you to help me understand, not declare to everyone how much I know.

    What is the explanation for the bifurcated responses from people who have attended BYU? Some say it has never been a problem, some say it was a huge problem for them. Maybe we have to allow for the possibility that people have different experiences, even though our own anecdotal evidence suggests otherwise. I suppose church is the same way though. I’ve been to meetings that I loved, while good friends were miserable at the SAME meetings.

    Also, you’ll notice that I have said NOTHING about the value of the honor code and etc. It is interesting how people jump to defend it here even though that’s not my point at all. I’m really just curious about how these guys get caught. If g/f has a baby bump, that makes sense.

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  17. AdamF on March 2, 2011 at 9:52 AM

    So, re: the “noble intention” as I mentioned in the post, behind turning in a friend for an honor code violation is a sense of honesty? Is it an honor code violation at BYU to not turn in someone else? (seems that wiki you quoted was not from the Y)

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  18. Heather on March 2, 2011 at 9:56 AM

    “I’m sure there is some noble intention behind turning in a friend or classmate. What is it?”

    Attending the “Lord’s university” doesn’t automatically make one noble and above the natural tendencies of men.

    Jealousy and pettiness are just as likely motivators as genuine concern for the person you’re snitching on.

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  19. Paul on March 2, 2011 at 10:13 AM

    I attended BYU long ago, but in those days part of the honor code was that one would turn in violators.

    My impression was that there were zealots on one end of the spectrum and gross violators on the other end, but the vast majority in the center were silent (with either small enough violations that no one noticed, or overlooking those small violations).

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  20. Georgy on March 2, 2011 at 10:23 AM

    Oh, there were a lot of people turning each other in at BYU when I was a student 8 years ago. I remember even doing to with a student that I didnt like very much, just to be a jerk.

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  21. Shorty on March 2, 2011 at 10:25 AM

    Is it possible that someone did this in order to get BYU some press for their honor code?

    Here is my thinking:

    (A) Odds are, whatever happened didn’t just happen for the first time.
    (B) BYU is gunning for a #1 seed, something they have never done. Some have voiced concern about a Mountain West school getting a #1 seed, and about BYU getting ousted early on.
    (C) BYU has enjoyed favorable press all year, especially with Jimmer.
    (D) Even though it has received favorable press, outside of Utah BYU is extremely polarizing – mostly people hate them.
    (E) As seen from Romney’s campaign, many people still loathe BYU and Mormonism.

    That all set up, I think there is a definite non-zero chance that this was done either to (a) create publicity for BYU’s “strict” image or (b) damage BYU’s shot for a #1 seed and a run in the tournament or (c) create more publicity for BYU.

    There are no coincidences, methinks. This was published when it was for a reason, and someone other than Davies is benefiting from the news.

    Me personally: I doubt it was a student that turned him in and I doubt his race had a factor in that turning in. There are millions of dollars to be made off these decisions. BYU, likewise, isn’t above board on this. They’ve more than once turned a blind eye, or made other decisions in order to make a little more money.

    P.S. If it’s true that they don’t kick someone off “until their girlfriend is showing,” I’d say that’s about the epitome of hypocrisy. (I.E. only make a decision that effects the entire team and school once the “appearance” runs the risk of tarnishing an image).

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  22. AdamF on March 2, 2011 at 10:33 AM

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  23. AdamF on March 2, 2011 at 10:34 AM

    (This video clip above is not the point of the OP, but it is a nice discussion on ESPN of the honor code)

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  24. allquieton on March 2, 2011 at 10:45 AM

    When you agree to go to BYU, you also agree to turn in Honor Code violators. Maybe if that goes against your conscience, you shouldn’t voluntarily agree to do it.

    But where is the accountability for personal integrity? If you sign something you don’t agree with just b/c you want to go to BYU, what does that say about you?

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  25. LuluBelle on March 2, 2011 at 12:12 PM

    Are you kidding? BYU is one big narc university. While I was there, I was literally, NO JOKE, pulled into the BYU standards office (aka the Taliban judges), given a BYU football roster, and was told to point out every person on the football team who was at my house during a party we were accused of having. I didn’t even open the roster, looked my inquisitor in the eyes and said “Sorry, I wouldn’t recognize anyone” and walked out and promptly got kicked out of school. I then recieved threatening phone calls from a few football players saying that if they lost their scholarship because of anything I said, they’d hunt me down.

    My kids will NEVER EVER EVER attend BYU if they expect me to pay for it. There are way too many self righteous students there who are just looking for a skirt that’s a bit too short to lable the co-ed a whore.

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  26. Whitney on March 2, 2011 at 12:28 PM

    Maybe it’s a reaction against the privilege these athletes have? Many of these athletes receive scholarships and even free special tutoring for their classes that allow them to stay in school (their professors also experience some pressure to pass these athletes); and, from what I’ve heard, a portion of athletes who are on scholarship are otherwise lacking in qualifications–that is, they got into BYU solely because of their athletic abilities, in spite of low grades/test scores. The fact that student athletes at BYU are disproportionately persons of color (compared to the mostly white student body) might compound this, contributing to a perception of athletic scholarships as a form of affirmative action or even reverse discrimination. Other students, even friends, may feel annoyed that such benefits have not been granted them, so any rule-breaking becomes an indicator that the athlete does not deserve said privileges, especially at a religious school. The non-athletes thus try to take these privileges away from the athlete using the only power they have, by reporting them to the honor code office.
    This explanation doesn’t necessarily exclude others, though; it might be only one part of what is actually going on. Thoughts?

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  27. larryco_ on March 2, 2011 at 12:43 PM

    When I was a student at BYU I had a roommate named Skip, a drama major, who claimed he worked “undercover” for BYU Security to identify students who were gay. I can neither confirm nor deny his claim, but he did go out on what he called “stakeouts”.

    Creepy, huh?

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  28. AdamF on March 2, 2011 at 12:44 PM

    larryco_ – sounds like paranoia or conspiracy theories, right? ;)

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  29. psychochemiker on March 2, 2011 at 12:55 PM

    Sounds like a closeted gay man who was trying to act macho so his roommates didn’t turn him in if they found some of his reading material on his computer. “Um, that’s for my stake-out”

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  30. Thomas on March 2, 2011 at 1:18 PM

    Shocker: Athletes get more sump’n sump’n than nerds, at BYU as elsewhere. Honor Code violations occur in direct proportion.

    The idea that athletes and “people of color” get singled out at BYU is just silly. They get caught more, because they get more.

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  31. AdamF on March 2, 2011 at 1:39 PM

    Thomas – I don’t think the “idea” is that silly. For example, a black friend of mine once had a psych class with 200 other students. She was the only black student. Her friends skipped all the time, but when she skipped the class the prof ALWAYS knew. It’s called white privilege. :)

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  32. Jeff Spector on March 2, 2011 at 1:52 PM

    Thomas,

    No precedents? No founding father quotes? No surveys and studies? no 7 paragraphs?

    What kind of a response is THAT?

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  33. Thomas on March 2, 2011 at 1:52 PM

    For example, a black friend of mine once had a psych class with 200 other students. She was the only black student. Her friends skipped all the time, but when she skipped the class the prof ALWAYS knew. It’s called white privilege.

    I have known black people who identified 10 out of ever 2 instances of genuine disparate treatment.

    Maybe your friend’s anecdote is true, and maybe it’s a matter of perception.

    My impression was that athletes (including athletes of color) are more likely than other BYU students to be non-LDS. My impression is also that non-LDS students tend to have a less obsessive attitude towards chastity than the average.

    In short, you don’t have to race to “white privilege” when there are plenty of other options available.

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  34. Jeff Spector on March 2, 2011 at 1:53 PM

    AdamF,

    “but when she skipped the class the prof ALWAYS knew. It’s called white privilege.”

    I thought maybe is was called “more obvious.”

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  35. Thomas on March 2, 2011 at 1:54 PM

    Jeff,

    I’m supposed to be finishing a brief.

    But if we need a Founding Father quote, I like this one:

    “The problem with quotations from famous people on the Internet, is that a lot of them are not genuine.”

    –Thomas Jefferson

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  36. AdamF on March 2, 2011 at 1:59 PM

    Jeff – the white privilege is that her friends could skip and no one would notice.

    Regardless (and to Thomas) – none of us white folk are in a position to say what it’s like to be black. Myself included. ;)

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  37. Heber13 on March 2, 2011 at 2:08 PM

    I think people narcing on their friends or “policing” the other students is a minority of people at BYU.

    Unfortunately, the minority can cause the majority of problems.

    My question is, why now? The timing is so bad for the cougs and March Madness.

    Doesn’t the honor code board take a while to review cases and pass judgment?

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  38. Thomas on March 2, 2011 at 4:07 PM

    Regardless (and to Thomas) – none of us white folk are in a position to say what it’s like to be black.

    Which of course is why I didn’t do any such thing.

    Nobody, but nobody, is entitled to unconditional, unlimited deference or credibility. Your friend may or may not be reporting the situation accurately. Her perception may or may not be accurate. The color of her skin doesn’t make her any more infallible than the rest of us.

    the white privilege is that her friends could skip and no one would notice.

    Not so much “white privilege” as “majority privilege.” Were the races reversed — say, my wife at her all-Hispanic-except-two elementary school — the blonde would be the one who wasn’t like the others, and whose absence was therefore more noticeable.

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  39. AdamF on March 2, 2011 at 4:49 PM

    “Which of course is why I didn’t do any such thing.”

    Cool.

    “Her perception may or may not be accurate”

    Actually it was. The prof would approach her when she missed. Her friends who missed all the time never heard from him. Granted, she talks about all of this in jest, but it’s real. Also, I don’t know where I said anything about her being infallible.

    Frankly, if you or anyone else here just don’t get or buy into the concept of white privilege, we can just leave it at that, because more discussion will get us no where. White privilege IS usually majority privilege. For example, I’m certainly the minority in certain parts of inner-cities. Certain places I cannot go because I’m white. However, my white privilege also gives me the option to NOT go there. I don’t have to worry about all kinds of things because of my skin color.

    As I said though, if you don’t buy any of that, then we can just let it be. It’s too much for many to accept.

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  40. Jeff Spector on March 2, 2011 at 5:24 PM

    “I’m supposed to be finishing a brief.’

    how ironic

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  41. Thomas on March 2, 2011 at 6:59 PM

    Certain places I cannot go because I’m white. However, my white privilege also gives me the option to NOT go there.

    I would say that’s less about “white privilege” and more about “took reasonable care not to screw up your life” privilege. Because there are plenty of African-Americans in Montgomery County (fr’instance) who can avoid the inner city, too.

    I don’t have to worry about all kinds of things because of my skin color.

    And one of the most important things, is that you can view yourself as an individual, and not be pressured to conform to a tribal identity. The “invisible man” syndrome is one of the tragedies of race in America. Both the racists, the well-meaning, and much of minority-group conventional wisdom itself, tend to expect minorities to fit a certain mold. Heaven help the guy who steps off the reservation.

    Coincidentally, this dynamic works with close-knit religious groups, too.

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  42. Jeff Spector on March 2, 2011 at 8:06 PM

    Adamf,

    “Jeff – the white privilege is that her friends could skip and no one would notice.’

    Most teachers know some of the students in their class and even in the large ones, they know when they are not there. A single black person might be very obvious, but others are noticed.

    All white people do not look alike!

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  43. AdamF on March 2, 2011 at 9:07 PM

    Jeff/Thomas – the examples I shared were just that, examples… and not a very good. The examples are not the point. If you don’t want to see it, you don’t have to. You can always come up with alternative explanations. There are always arguments and ways to explain it away. I can accept that it’s a concept that you won’t buy into because of the ramifications of doing so. As a friend of mine recently said, “Like anything else in life, Power, Hegemony, the dominant discourse, doesn’t like to be challenged. It’s called privilege because we haven’t earned it. It has always been, and in the mean time those who are different have been devalued. I am walking white privilege. Knowing that doesn’t make me feel guilty, it only makes me very aware that there are a whole lot of people out there who have had to work a lot harder than me, because I fit the “normal,” and they are told that they don’t.”

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  44. AdamF on March 2, 2011 at 9:14 PM

    Another example – many people of color have to “act white” to fit in – call it the “majority” or whatever, they have to act differently. Mainstream corporate America is white America. On top of that, if you’re black and educated you can get accused of “acting white” as if being educated is a negative thing. Or you get called stuff like an “Oreo” – white on the inside.

    Anyway, it is useless to debate my specific examples – if you can’t see or accept the underlying concept – that you are privileged due to the color of your skin (and for being male) then we’re really just spinning here.

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  45. AdamF on March 2, 2011 at 9:16 PM

    Just so we don’t talk past each other…

    “one of the most important things, is that you can view yourself as an individual”

    I agree 100%

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  46. Shorty on March 2, 2011 at 9:58 PM

    It was all about the sex.

    If this article is correct, then the dismissal came after Davies admitted to having sex with his girlfriend. My question is, (a) who turned him in such that he’d have to “admit” such a thing and (b), perhaps more importantly, does a young man have to confess such a deed to someone other than his Bishop or anyone else for that matter.

    I get the honor code thing, but this seems like a very precarious position…i.e. confessing things to a non-ecclesiastical body.

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  47. E on March 2, 2011 at 10:05 PM

    According to a reliable source, his pregnant girlfriend’s roomies turned him in.

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  48. Jen on March 2, 2011 at 10:14 PM

    Wow, reading this makes me glad I went to the U of U.

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  49. sar on March 2, 2011 at 10:21 PM

    When I was at the BYU a few years ago any person, regardless of university affiliation, could make a complaint about a student to the honor code office.

    I found this out when a friend was reported to the honor code office by her roommate’s grandma (long story).

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  50. Jen on March 2, 2011 at 10:37 PM

    So, can he repent or is out for good? How does that work at BYU?

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  51. hawkgrrrl on March 2, 2011 at 11:30 PM

    When I was a BYU undergrad, I never knew anyone who got into honor code trouble for anything that wasn’t silly. I got sent once for wearing a skirt someone thought was too short. I had a roommate who got called in for writing “bull—t ticket” in the memo line on a personal check she wrote when she got a parking ticket there. I also had an RA in one apartment complex that I caught squatting in the bushes outside our apartment trying to see in my roommate’s bedroom window. He said he was convinced she had her boyfriend in there, and he was going to rat her out to standards. I said if he did I was going to rat him out for being a perv who stands in bushes looking in windows. The school encourages students to police each others’ behavior, something I personally find childish.

    As at many schools, sports stars get away with things other students don’t, especially if they put butts in seats and revenue into the school. My sister was at the Y when Jim McMahon was there, and it was well known that he was violating more than just the honor code as well as being a jerk about it. It’s a tougher situation at the Y because the honor code is so restrictive for non-LDS, and as has been pointed out, sports stars have more opportunity to violate it.

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  52. hawkgrrrl on March 2, 2011 at 11:46 PM

    Oh, and the first thought I had when I read the post title was something people said often back when I was at the Y: “How do BYU athletes NOT get caught?” because the perception was that everyone else got hauled in for not wearing socks (one of my male classmates was informed by standards that male leg hair is an extension of the pubic hair and therefore indecent) while they were having naked hot tub orgies with no consequences.

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  53. rob on March 3, 2011 at 1:06 AM

    Ah! The office of university standards in the 70′s. Once flagged for a violation (long hair)your registration packet was tagged and you had to appear in person at the university standards desk at the Smith Fieldhouse to be given the once over before being allowed to turn in those IBM punch cards with your class choices on them. Then there was John Hall. Not a person but the animal house like dorm at Heleman Halls which housed jocks on scholarship at BYU. University Standards should have opened a substation there! There was more 3.2 beer hidden in that dorm than was sold across the street at the 7-11. The occasional brave female student would relate tales of having survived a surreptitious walk through the John Hall dorm floors(a violation of student standards). Contrasting that with our sweet grandmotherly dorm Mom who more than once would walk through the floor unannounced to encounter exiting shower traffic in various forms of undress. My roommate once stopped to drink at the fountain dressed only in shower sandals when she slapped him on his backside while he drank and she kept on walking with out a comment. She had a wonderful smile. I miss her.

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  54. Douglas on March 3, 2011 at 1:32 AM

    See what I missed by completing my education at Fresno State? Go Bulldogs….

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  55. Douglas on March 3, 2011 at 1:46 AM

    Actually, we had our own issues with Institute, though nothing like what goes on at the “Y”. Most of my experience was quite positive, and I remember the instructors fondly. My only negative experience was being given grief by my then bishop for not taking an Institute class in the last semester of my senior year. I was completing a degree in Mechanical Engineering, doing a Senior Project, going on job interviews twice or thrice weekly, and was married with a newborn son (he’s 27 now). The bishop took it as “evidence” that I was “unrepentant” (I’d been disfellowshipped since my son was born six months after we’d wed, and, no, he wasn’t a preemie). What a nitwit. I suppose getting my education wrapped up and landing a job in my field that would actually support my fledgling family meant less than him being able to proudly claim that all his college students were at the “Toot”. Sorry that I didn’t get with the program!
    At least with Institute you get just enough to appreciate the intellectual aspects of the Gospel while imbibing of the Spirit, but you don’t get smothered by it. It did help after a daily walk between classes through the “free speech” area…like most colleges, ol’ Bulldog U had its share of radical freaks AND rather comely coeds (I married one of them). A young RM needed BALANCE which Institute provided!

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  56. Jen on March 3, 2011 at 8:25 AM

    #51 Hawk- “The school encourages students to police each others’ behavior, something I personally find childish.”

    I think that type of behavior continues in some wards as well. Poor bishop.

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  57. SNeilsen on March 3, 2011 at 10:06 AM

    larryco_
    I also knew someone who worked for BYU security. And, yes,(at least in the past) they also do go off campus.
    hawkgrrrl
    The person I knew related the story of someone who spied through a window and reported what they saw. The offending couple were kicked out. Nothing happened to the peeping tom.

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  58. Latter-day Guy on March 3, 2011 at 12:07 PM

    Anyone know what exactly the relationship is between ecclesiastical confessions and HC reporting is at the Y? Do bishops report to the HC Office, or is it a separate thing altogether?

    Apropos of Bro. Davies situation, how did the media pick it up? If the announcement came from the school itself… well, class has never been the HCO’s strong suit.

    RE #27: Actually, psychochemiker, BYU actually did run some gay sting operations decades back (many of which took place in the HFAC… no surprise there). President Wilkinson did his level best to make good on the comment from one of his devotionals in ’65: We do not intend to admit to our campus any homosexuals…. We do not want others on this campus to be contaminated by your presence.

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  59. Heber13 on March 3, 2011 at 2:42 PM

    #52 HG: “one of my male classmates was informed by standards that male leg hair is an extension of the pubic hair and therefore indecent”

    I remember them saying the same thing to my brother about chest hair.

    I’ve never really understood what that means or what it has to do with the price of Tea in China…but I guess it gives some people a new way to look at things and to be prudish.

    None of this helps BYU become serious national athletic recruiters. I guess cougs have to just accept that with these restrictions being upheld, BYU will always put out non-major athletic teams, and being contenders is not the objective at BYU. Just gotta accept it.

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  60. Thomas on March 3, 2011 at 3:30 PM

    I’ve heard the “leg hair = pubic hair” rumor, but never from an actual BYU representative. Wouldn’t surprise me if they actually said that back in the seventies, but “urban legend” wouldn’t surprise me either.

    Then again, I’m basically hairless (except on top). Shaved down once for swim finals in high school and it never really grew back. So maybe nobody ever noticed any leg/pubic hair to chide me about.

    That said, I remember the Great and Glorious Day where BYU finally relented and allowed men to wear sandals to class. It was a beautiful day in early April. I walked the pioneer trek from Helaman Halls to the Maeser Building for a 3-hour math class in a Hawaiian shirt, shorts of borderline length, and sandals.

    When I came out of class, a cold front had blown through, and there was three inches of slushy snow on the ground, and more coming down. Though which I had to trudge, Martin & Willey-style, back to the dorms, fortunately just quick enough to avoid the need to amputate any toes.

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  61. Bryce on March 3, 2011 at 5:11 PM

    My experience at BYU (graduated in 2007) involved a little bit of both experiences with athletes. I played with one of the sports teams, and got to know many of them personally. Just like any group (not limited to BYU) the teams had their share of nice guys and jerks. I knew several athletes who were incredibly honorable and upstanding, and really were a credit to the school and their program. I also knew guys who couldn’t pass a class (or even attend) to save their lives. Their violations were as prevalent as they were obvious. Somehow they got to stay.

    I wouldn’t call that a double standard specific to athletes, however. The fact is that there is simply no way for the HCO to track the righteousness of 30,000+ students, even with their self-anointed minions patrolling the streets and classrooms. I’m sure there are just as many violations per capita across the entire population of students–athletes are just under the spotlight so their infractions get more attention in the media.

    I do agree with the comments about most HC violation reports being quite absurd. I didn’t know anybody who got turned in for sex or other “major” violations, but I knew plenty of folks who had to do the perp walk to the HCO because their hair was just a bit past their collar, or they hadn’t shaved in three days. I think the self-anointed HC police were a tiny group, but it only takes a few people to produce a huge volume of reported violations–plenty to keep the HCO busy.

    I don’t know how far back this goes in BYU history, but I thought it was funny that the HCO actually issues passes for certain people who demonstrate a need to violate certain portions of the code. We called them “Beard Cards” since the people I knew were in the drama program and were performing in plays that required them to grow facial hair that would otherwise be in violation. But the not-so-funny part was how frequently that had to use those cards in order to keep from getting turned in by people.

    So to answer the OP’s final statement: I don’t believe there is anything particularly noble or honorable about turning in a friend (or complete stranger, for that matter) for any perceived HC violation. That type of judgment should be reserved for bishops and remain an ecclesiastical issue. BYU would do well to focus more on emphasizing honor and integrity, and less on silly rules that don’t ultimately contribute to either attribute.

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  62. hawkgrrrl on March 3, 2011 at 6:20 PM

    One of my good friends in the English department sported a coveted “beard card.” He wasn’t in a play, though. He said he had a skin condition that prevented him shaving. I remembered thinking “Our tithing dollars at work, verifying this guy’s medical status to be allowed to have visible razor stubble.” He was always threatened with being sent to standards, so he kept his beard card in front of his driver’s license in his wallet so he could show it more easily when confronted.

    While I don’t think highly of those who would turn others in even for big/legit violations, if someone gets a girl preggers, she’s going to get kicked out; it’s only fair he also have to step up in that situation. I would assume that in this case, that’s why the roommates turned him in.

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  63. Thomas on March 3, 2011 at 6:38 PM

    Does the Honor Code specifically forbid tarring and feathering tattlers?

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  64. E on March 3, 2011 at 7:42 PM

    The pregnant girlfriend was not a BYU student, according to my source. So that was not the reason the roommates turned him in.

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  65. Alice on March 6, 2011 at 9:42 AM

    I’ve kind of wondered how the honor code and confessing to a bishop works too.

    It seems unfortunate that people generally would be hesitant to work with their bishops to resolve sins because they don’t want to deal with the honor code violation on top of it.

    Seems like there ought to be some bishop confidentiality sort of thing. It’s just encouraging people to hide their oopses.

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  66. [...] the buzz this past week was about the big news that a BYU basketball player had sex with his girlfriend — if you can believe it! This led to lots of very amusing discussion [...]

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  67. hawkgrrrl on March 7, 2011 at 8:55 AM

    Alice – I don’t think confessions to bishops (or even to members of the psych staff) directly result in honor code violations because people don’t confess until after the fact. The person to whom one confesses might encourage you to come clean, but I know of many who went through that process, yet none who were hauled to standards based on a confession. Pregnancy might be a different story than just doing the hokey pokey. I’m not aware of any pregnancy confessions.

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  68. Alice on March 7, 2011 at 9:35 AM

    So if I went to my bishop to clear up an indiscretion, he wouldn’t be required to report it to the school? (I would hope not, but, it is BYU so I wasn’t sure) :)

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  69. Tim on March 18, 2011 at 2:00 AM

    The rumor on the BYU campus(my brother attends BYU) is that he was blackmailed by a reporter. The reporter told him if he didn’t confess, then he would write about it the next day.

    @Everyone
    People are way more aware of professional college athletes. If they see them out somewhere, they know who it is. Its alot harder for them to get away with things because people are more aware of where they are, what they are doing. Rather than a normal BYU attender getting caught.

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  70. M. Van Leuven on June 5, 2011 at 1:51 AM

    Rachel, drinking Dr. Pepper is not an honor code violation. It is an honor code violation to drink coffee and tea, but it is not an honor code violation to drink caffeinated sode pop. Don’t ask me why, that is just how it is. You can’t buy it on campus, they dont sell it. But it is okay to drink it on campus, but you have to buy it off campus and bring it with you. I go to BYU Idaho, which has an even more strict honor code policy then BYU Provo. Provo students can where shorts and sandals in summer, but at BYU Idaho we have to wear either full length pants for both sexes, or knee length skirts for girls all year round, no exceptions, no matter how hot it gets in summer and no flip flops, but we can wear sandals as long as they have backs on them. But no matter how strict the rules are, we still can drink caffeinated soda. I know because I am a diet dr. pepper drinker, and my dorm housing manager knows this and she told us it was okay and not against the rules, thought half way through the semester i switched to caffeine free, because i was drinking 3 a day and could not sleep

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