You may have heard by now that BYU’s forward Brandon Davies was dismissed from the team for violating the school’s honor code when he admitted to having premarital sex with his girlfriend.  As you can imagine, as soon as this news came out Davies was a trending topic on Twitter, and most of the comments were something along the lines of taking shots at BYU for it’s “ridiculous” standards.

BYU, a Mormon school, does have a very strict honor code.  From the BYU website:

Be honest; live a chaste and virtuous life; obey the law and all campus policies; use clean language; respect others; abstain from alcoholic beverages, tobacco, tea, coffee, and substance abuse; participate regularly in church services; observe the Dress & Grooming standards; encourage others in their commitment to comply with the Honor Code

You know, it is pretty strict.  And good for them for having standards.  We may not agree, or even like, the idea of abstaining from coffee and tea, or telling a 21+ year old to abstain from drinking, but here’s the thing: it’s been around for a while.  This is not a new policy.  Davies is a sophomore, and he agreed to live by this Honor Code when he agree to come to the school as a student, and he agreed to be a visible representative of the Honor Code by accepting a basketball scholarship.  He was not surprised by the Honor Code.  It was there, and he knew about it.

I came across a similar thing during my seminary years.  Asbury had a no tobacco, no drugs, and no alcohol standard at the time when I was attending.  The alcohol part has since been changed to “on campus” only – if you are away from campus, then you can drink responsibly.  But I remember a lot of people being upset about this policy when I was going to school.  They couldn’t understand why it was important to abstain from alcohol during their years at the school.  The simple answer that I always had: because you agreed to do so when you decided to get your education at this school.

The same goes for Davies and all the other students at BYU.  They gave their word that they would live by the Honor Code while they were students.  I applaud the university for doing the right thing, even though it could potentially cost them their best basketball season in school history (they lost their first game without Davies, 82-64 against New Mexico).  If you say you are going to live by a certain standard, then you are also implicitly agreeing to being held accountable to that standard.  I may not agree with the religious views of the school, but at least they are showing that they are serious about students keeping their word.