Deadspin has posted a truly awful analysis of the Brandon Davis-BYU situation by that highly-esteemed journalist, Anonymous. Money quote:
Despite what Jim Rome and Pat Forde might think, the school wasn't making any kind of serious sacrifice here. This kind of politicking is so much more valuable than a Final Four run. BYU can say: "'Look at us. We're not like the rest of the world. We're not like other universities. We stand by our principles." It's all a part of spreading the faith, and Brandon Davies is being used to that end just like a kid at Kentucky is being used to win basketball games.
They can say it because it's true, no? They are different. Think about this affair in light of SI's investigation that showed that one in fourteen football players in the preseason Top 25 had been charged with a crime, some with multiple felonies. If BYU represents one extreme and the University of Pittsburgh--whose locker room doubles as a cell block--represents the other, ask yourself, Which extreme poses the greater danger?
Look, I admit that forbidding premarital sex among the BYU student body is an incredibly high standard for a university honor code. If I had a magic wand to create an honor code for a religiously-oriented university, I would build in more grace and transparency in the code, provided that transparency didn't compromise student privacy.
On the other hand, it's a standard that no small number of people keep. Maybe you saw this week's news that virginity among the nation's 15-24 year olds us up from 20% to 30%. Maybe Mr. Anonymous, who allegedly graduated the fornication heyday of 2001, is dealing with a generation gap here.
Lastly, the idea that Davis is being exploited in this affair like the dumb jocks that get fed through the SEC meat grinder is preposterous. What's wrong with big time college athletics is that sports no longer serves the mission of the university. They recruit students who can't succeed academically, use them to entertain their fat cat boosters for four years, and then kick them to the curb with little education or skills in hand to face the next 60 years of life.
How is that true of BYU's handling of Brandon Davis? BYU has a mission--to educate and develop good Mormon character in its student body. Mirabile dictu--their athletics program is actually subordinated to this mission! If Mr. Anonymous can't tell the difference between that and exploitation, then he can't tell the difference between good and evil.
Do you know who does exploit college athletes caught in compromising positions? Deadspin does.
Say someone had a camera phone photo of Davis having pre-marital sex with a woman, and they'd sent the photo to the Deadspin editors. That photo would have landed on Deadspin's home page in a New York minute, along with a lot of crowing about the hypocrisy of Mormon institutions. "BYU: as full of horndogs as your school," the headline would have read. Deadspin would have punished Brandon Davis as harshly as the BYU administration, not by taking away his scholarship, but by exposing his private life to internet vultures.
After Phil Mickelson won the Masters last year, a lot of people were happy because Mickelson is a nice guy, and Tiger Woods, we now know, is not a nice guy. But the Deadspin editors weren't happy. I can't find the link, but the day after, they were grousing along the lines of, "Whatcha gonna do when we finally dig up dirt on Mickelson?"
See? Everyone's tainted. Everyone's corrupt. Everyone's a hypocrite. Which means that nobody can hold anybody accountable. Except Deadspin.