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Thursday
Mar032011

Dismissal of Basketball Player Supported By BYU's Mormon Students

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(PROVO, Utah) -- Sports-mad students at Brigham Young University were stunned that the team's star basketball player was dismissed for violating the school's honor code -- reportedly by having premarital sex -- but said Thursday they think it was right thing to do and endorse the strict code. Brandon Davies, 19, a forward for the red-hot Cougars, admitted a failure to live up to the honor code and has been axed from the team for the remainder of the season, according to a statement from the BYU Athletics Department.

The university did not reveal the nature of Davies' violation, but the Salt Lake Tribune reported that Davies told the college he had sex with his girlfriend.

The BYU honor code stipulates that students must "be honest, live a chaste and virtuous life…use clean language" and abstain from alcohol, tobacco, tea, coffee, and drugs. It also bars gambling, use of pornography and homosexual behavior, though "feelings or attraction" are allowed.

The tough action by the school is in stark contrast to the anything-goes attitude among much of top ranked college athletics as well as the social attitudes on most college campuses.

Davies, a sophomore who is a Mormon and a Utah native, is still a student a t BYU. According to a statement from BYU Athletics, he had started 26 of 29 games this season and averaged 11.1 points.

The team has climbed up the rankings to No. 3 in the country, but in its first game without Davies, it lost badly to unranked New Mexico by a score of 82-64.

Nevertheless, Cougar fans said Thursday that they supported they supported the school's decision.

"It was absolutely the right thing to do. We uphold the honor code. There are things that are more important than winning a basketball game," said Eric Christensen, 25, a BYU graduate student in information systems.

Matthew Sayer, 24, currently on leave from BYU, said he was an intense Cougars fan who was disappointed by Davies' actions.

"I loved him," Sayer said. But he fully supported the university. "The rules are the rules. In college you're supposed to know better," Sayer said.

"I think it sends a very clear message about the values we support here," said his brother Ryan, 27, who is studying for his masters in physics. "The values definitely include no sexual relations outside of marriage."

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