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Thursday, March 24, 2011
Florida on honor code? Next question

By Eamonn Brennan

By now, pretty much every sports fan in the country is familiar with the BYU honor code. It became a national topic of interest earlier this season -- even landing (like our Andy Katz!) on "The Daily Show" -- when BYU suspended forward Brandon Davies for committing the totally heinous act of having premarital sex with his girlfriend. BYU's willingness to damage its own short-term athletic interests in the name of its honor code was seen as valiant by many, even if the honor code itself raised plenty of eyebrows, too.

In any case, BYU's honor code is not something most collegiate athletes have to live by. In fact, one would argue that the whole "college experience" (as it were) is all about breaking the guidelines set forth in the BYU honor code. (Especially the whole "no alcohol" part. Apparently college students drink? Weird, right?)

On the eve BYU's Sweet 16 matchup with Florida, one reporter thought it might be fun to juxtapose BYU's athletes with Florida's. So he asked Florida coach Billy Donovan, as well as forward Chandler Parsons, how they thought Florida athletics would look if the Gators had to play by the same rules as the Cougars. Tremendous awkwardness ensued, both with Donovan:
Q. How hard would it be to recruit to Florida if you had to tell your recruits you can't have premarital sex if you come to Florida?

Donovan: I'm not going to get into that. I mean, I don't know. First of all, I don't really talk about any of that stuff, either. I'll pass on that one.

And with Parsons, who cackled for 10 seconds before settling on the most politically correct answer possible:
Q. Chandler, how shocked were you when you found out that BYU had kicked one of its best players off the team for having premarital sex, and how many Gators would be left on the team if you had that rule?

Parsons: I mean, rules are rules, so he knew what he was doing. I mean, it's something that we can't worry about really because he's not playing in the game tomorrow and that's really none of my business. Yeah, that's it. [Laughter].

To paraphrase: "Oh, man, I really don't how to answer this without making it a thing. Um, yeah. None of my business?"

In the end, Parsons' answer is also correct. It really is none of his business. Florida is Florida. BYU is BYU. Both programs require certain things, both athletically and personally, from their players, and those players know the various rules and requirements when they show up on the first day of fall semester.

Those rules may not be the same, but the essential concept is. I think that's what Chandler was trying to say. Something like that, anyway.