|Having an "Honor Code" burdens Black athletes who go to BYU|
BYU was called the most monochromatic team by Sports Illustrated (SI) in a 2010 story, and in the famed “What Happened to the White Athlete?” story in SI, the school was lambasted as the last refuge for white players to succeed.
Located in Provo, BYU is funded by the Mormon Church, and all students and student-athletes are required to sign an Honor Code:
Honor Code StatementWe believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men. . . . If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things (Thirteenth Article of Faith).
As a matter of personal commitment, faculty, administration, staff, and students of Brigham Young University, Brigham Young University—Hawaii, Brigham Young University—Idaho, and LDS Business College seek to demonstrate in daily living on and off campus those moral virtues encompassed in the gospel of Jesus Christ, and will
Live a chaste and virtuous life
Obey the law and all campus policies
Use clean language
Abstain from alcoholic beverages, tobacco, tea, coffee, and substance abuse
Participate regularly in church services
Observe the Dress and Grooming Standards
Encourage others in their commitment to comply with the Honor Code
Specific policies embodied in the Honor Code include (1) the Academic Honesty Policy, (2) the Dress and Grooming Standards, (3) the Residential Living Standards, and (4) the Continuing Student Ecclesiastical Endorsement. (Refer to institutional policies for more detailed information.)
Over the past month, BYU has been held up as a symbol of all that is decent in college sports for its unsparing treatment of Brandon Davies, the African-American basketball player who violated the school's honor code by reportedly having sex with his girlfriend. Davies was suspended shortly before the NCAA tournament, and a braying mainstream press lauded BYU for sticking to its principles. Sports Illustrated's website even wondered if a values-driven, "non-hypocritical" BYU was "on the verge of becoming America's team."
The reality isn't so appealing. While it's impossible to know how many students disobey BYU's honor code, which prohibits fornication and alcohol use, among other things, the honor code violations that come to light almost always involve student-athletes. And they almost always involve athletes of color. Since 1993, according to our research, at least 70 athletes have been suspended, dismissed, put on probation, or forced to withdraw from their teams or the school after running afoul of the honor code. Fifty-four of them, or nearly 80 percent, are minorities. Forty-one, or almost 60 percent, are black men. These are conservative numbers, compiled from media reports and interviews. In several cases, we could not confirm an honor code violation. In other cases, we could not establish the race or ethnicity of the athlete involved. We excluded those cases from our tally.
Clearly, though, something is amiss at BYU, where around 23 percent of the athletes are minorities, according to the university. Only .6 percent of the student body is black (176 out of the 32,947 students enrolled in 2010). Yet a majority of the honor code violations involve black athletes. Do these numbers mean these athletes "sin" more than everyone else? Hardly. Several former BYU football players told us that their white teammates routinely broke the honor code and got away with it, either because they didn't get caught or because their violations were covered up. (To a lesser extent, this holds true for Polynesian athletes, 14 of whom are included in our honor code tally. More on that later.) Mormon athletes can turn to bishops and church leaders from their own homogeneous communities — people who look like them and might even be related to them — to "repent" and avoid official punishment. Black athletes, who are typically non-Mormon, rarely have this option.
That's not surprising. Of the 116 players currently on the football roster, only 10 of them are black. That's less than 9 percent. A few years ago, the team was 15 percent black. Intentionally or not, the program seems to have sidestepped the honor code's racial and religious biases by signing more Polynesians, who tend to be LDS and now make up 23 percent of the roster. Whether these numbers indicate a recruiting shift away from blacks or an increased effort by the school to find LDS players is unclear. (Only eight or nine players on the team are non-Mormon, according to Chambers.) But the effect is the same: fewer black athletes and a difficult experience for many of those who do enroll.
"We want students to come to the university who are very comfortable with the environment," Jenkins says. "We're working very hard to make sure that every student understands the honor code before they get here. We start the day they apply. It's something that defines us. For the last 13 years, we've been The Princeton Review's number one stone-cold sober university. We're proud of it."
This year, Brandon Davies was the latest honor code martyr. Davies took his punishment in stride. He had little choice. How his suspension will affect his career or his outlook remains to be seen. But BYU's treatment of scores of black athletes should give pause to any African-American considering enrolling there. Our research indicates it already has. Almost every black athlete we spoke with had tried to dissuade a black recruit from playing for BYU. "We had some recruit coming to school," Thomas Stancil recalls. "I just told him what it was really like at BYU. I told him that if he was going to come here and think he was going to be having sex with all these women and partying, you got the wrong school. The next day the guy redid his plane ticket and left." Stancil's honesty only got him in trouble with the coaching staff.
One could state that if every college had standards like BYU, their football and basketball programs would field more white athletes.
SI ran a cover story on the 2010 Top 25 football programs and the incredible arrest rates the racked up by the athletes that played for them. Not surprisingly, the majority of the big crimes were committed by Black athletes. (Boise State had a large number of arrests, but almost all were for alcohol infractions.)
It’s funny: the popular college football blog Everydayshouldbesaturday.com has what they call the “Fulmer Cup” where they keep up with all arrests at major colleges and award a prize (named after Phil Fulmer, who relied on thugs to win games at Tennessee) to the school fielding the most criminals.
The reliance on Black athletes to compete at major academic institutions has required every school to lower their moral and academic standards so that Black players can stay in school. Richard Lapchick has shown that Black athletes can’t compete in the classroom as compared to white athletes – graduation rates always reflect a huge disparity between white and Black athletes – and stories of major colleges staking Black athletes in easy classes (Auburn had its sociology scandal; Michigan had its scandal, as did Stanford) show that the caliber of student-athlete being recruited is far below that of the normal student enrolling to take classes in hopes of earning a degree.
Every school in the Southeastern Conference (SEC), the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), the Big East, the Pac-12, the Big 10, the Big 12, and Conference USA has had to lower moral, ethical, and academic standards just to accommodate Black atheletes. Read this story from 1991 that shows how the SEC went from lily-white teams to virtually all-Black athletic teams.
Indeed, having any standards to aspire to at all is something Black people find highly offensive and exclusive.
BYU has recently left the Mountain West Conference (MWC) and will be, like Notre Dame, an independent. Knowing that most colleges and universities are administered and controlled by radical Disingenuous White Liberals (DWLs), it’s only a matter of time before BYU finds it difficult to schedule teams to play against on the field of athletic competition. GLAAD and the NAACP will pressure ESPN and other media outlets from televising BYU games.
That the Mormons are the last group to oppose homosexuals and gay marriage; that the Mormons try and stop the march to lowest common denominator behavior by having an honor code; that the BYU football and basketball team relies on white athletes when every team in America relies disproportionately on Black athletes all point to a future where the school will be boycotted.
A university can either have standards or it can have Black athletes. Just look at what is happening at Oxford in England, where Black people find it exceedingly difficult to gain admittance to that prestigious school. Standards are vital to integrity.
BYU wants to have integrity, thus they have an Honor Code. Oxford wants to maintain its status as one of the elite institutions of higher learning in the world. That both schools' drive for maintaining standards has a tendency to leave Black people behind is a sign that values and principles at some institutions are more important than regressing to the mean.
Stuff Black People Don’t Like includes the BYU Honor Code, because if every school in America had this code, Black athletes would be forced to play for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). And as the New York Times reported, degrees from those institutions aren’t worth much.
That HBCU degrees aren't worth much must have something to do with high academic standards, right? While ignorant alumni of SEC, ACC, Big Ten, Big East, and Conference USA colleges and universities cheer on teams that field players who have no businesses at a major institution of higher learning, BYU fields a team of actual student-athletes.
Schools like Florida, Georgia, Auburn, Alabama, Tennessee, Iowa, Oregon and Oklahoma recruit Black players whose athletic ability is the only requirement they need to gain admittance to the university. That they get into trouble on campus and with the law is of little concern to ravenous white alumni desirous of football or basketball glory.
As we learned in the terrifying book on the University of Washington football program, all that matters is Scoreboard Baby (all the players profiled in the book for committing heinous crimes that the Washington coaches, prominent alumni, and police in Seattle cover up are Black).
Well, at BYU the Honor Code still matters. Notre Dame once had similar requirements, but they abandoned them in the pursuit of football glory.
In Black Run America (BRA), all standards have been abandoned so that the Black Undertow can be placated. Having moral, educational or ethical standards runs counter to BRA’s goals, and BYU will be targeted with boycotts and threats.
Daring to field a team of white athletes; requiring morality which disproportionately affects Black athletes; and opposing the mainstreaming of homosexuality is just too much in a nation dedicated to regression to the mean.
Such is life in Black Run America (BRA), where having an Honor Code is tantamount to Jim Crow and oppression.
Because Black athletes provide so many positive images for their community that their communities are unable to provide, high rates of Black crime, out-of-wedlock birthrates, anti-social behavior in school and overall degeneracy is excused.
BYU's honor code, attacked as hypocritical by Dead Spin and the Black athletes who violate it, exposes so many truths of life in Black Run America. The attacks on the code of honor show that our dead sprint to lowest common denominator behavior is all but confirmed.