Was what happened to Brandon Davies fair?
That question followed BYU's apparently star-crossed 2011 team until Florida knocked Jimmer Fredette & Co. out of the NCAA tournament in the Sweet 16. Davies, as you know, was suspended for the season by the school for having premarital sex with his girlfriend. BYU has a very strict honor code, and Davies vowed to live by the honor code. The argument usually went one of two ways:
1. BYU is admirable for sticking to its customs at the expense of basketball wins.
2. BYU is a crazy place with crazy rules. What are they thinking?
Neither is perfectly true -- there's much more nuance involved -- but more than not I agreed with No. 1. For almost a year, we haven't gotten to hear what Davies himself thinks about all this. He's been kept away from media and hasn't spoken out. But what does he say? Was his BYU punishment fair? On Tuesday, Davies spoke with the media for the first time since the incident:
"I was definitely treated more than fair," he told reporters. "Just to be able to make it back here and be able to be a part of this team again is a blessing to me." [...] He said it "hurt" not being able to help his teammates. "Not just me, but everyone around me," he told reporters. "It's definitely something I'll never forget about and something I never want to do again, so I just use that to drive me in all that I do today."
Davies said he thinks he has changed for the better after his suspension, "but that's up to other people to decide."
"I can't really tell someone that I've changed; it's up to me to show that. Hopefully I'm in the right direction and doing that the best I can."
The thing is, to most of us, Davies doesn't have to change a thing. It's not like he failed a drug test or got caught stealing a laptop from a campus library. He had sex with his girlfriend. You almost want to pat him on the back. "Dude, you're OK. You're not a bad person! I promise!"
But Davies doesn't live by everyone else's code. He lives by his school's -- and by extension his church's -- code of ethics. And a bad decision within that code of ethics caused him to let his teammates down last season. It may also have taught everyone a lesson about what's important in life. Your beliefs? Or your win-loss record? Which was kind of inspiring, in its own way.
But mostly, I bet Davies just wants to put the whole deal behind him. I'd guess that goes for BYU fans, too.