They say that any exposure is good exposure. Well, whoever said that forgot about indecent exposure, which is against the law. So...I already found the crack in that argument.
With all the news about Brandon Davies getting kicked of the team for violating the honor code, you might be thinking, "this isn't the kind of exposure I wanted when BYU said they were going independent in football and signing a deal with ESPN to get more exposure." Admit it, that crossed your mind, it crossed mine. The thing is, I think it's exactly the kind of exposure BYU was targeting.
The news about Davies was all over the country yesterday, and still is today. It is still a headlining story on ESPN as of right now, and it has been all over SI and CBS sports. If you are one of those people embarrassed by BYU and think that they ruined an excellent opportunity for the school, watch these videos from ESPN.
The commentary is all very positive and respectful of BYU. They acknowledge the morals and standards of BYU and what it stands for. They also note that many universities would sweep something like this under the rug so it wouldn't hurt their sporting program. Not BYU. Even when the NCAA looks the other way on disciplinary actions, BYU stands by theirs. That, my friends, is representing the church. This isn't about sports right now, this is about an institution that represents the church. That is the exposure that the church and school wanted, the kind of exposure that shows off the ethics, beliefs, and standards. Success in sports is also a tool that introduces these things, but when an incident like this happens, all the focus goes towards the standards that BYU has.
There have been numerous articles and blogs about Davies' suspension, and it is interesting to look at the comments afterwards. Of course there is going to be those bashing the honor code and BYU, but for the most part it was filled with comments of respect and, strangely, gratitude. Some call it a "breath of fresh air." Others chimed in with "a university with ethics? that's almost unheard of nowadays."
It is frustrating, Davies let a lot of people down. But, he did know what he signed up for when he enrolled at BYU. He got himself into this problem. It's unfortunate that his issues are so public and national, but he knew what he signed up for when he enrolled at BYU.
Many say that this will hurt recruiting and BYU sports. I beg to differ. This is not the first time someone has gotten in trouble because of the honor code and it won't be the last. BYU will continue to get the athletes that it has already been getting recently, and I think it will create more interest to others that are non-LDS (especially their parents) and that are religious and want to attend a school with morals. Believe it or not, they are out there.
In the short-term, this sucks. The short-term usually always sucks. However, the long-term, I'm not patient enough for. It's so long away, I want the NCAA tourney run right now. I want to cap off this magical and exciting season with a successful March and maybe April. It looks dim now. The long-term, however, is the image that the school is gaining, both academically, athletically, and morally.
It has been good exposure, just depends on your point of view. It's the kind of exposure BYU and the church were hoping for. Lots and lots of jokes have been made, but lots and lots of national respect has been garnered also.