The Brigham Young Cougars and the Honor Code

Deadspin was first to try and uncover the BYU Honor Code back in April. Now, ESPN did its own Honor Code investigation on Outside The Lines. It would be easy to take each and make a long list of what was good and what was bad with each one. How they treated BYU fairly and unfairly. What was right and what was wrong.

But, I won’t.

The BYU Honor Code will always be an easy target for opponents of BYU. It is almost inevitable that BYU fans will have some objections to any investigative reporting done on the Honor Code. Anything less than a 100% positive report can easily be viewed as an attack on the school and its standards. Depending on which entity is doing the investigating, the tone of the story can land anywhere on the spectrum from praising BYU (as we saw after the Brandon Davies incident) to slandering BYU (as attempted by Deadspin).

What is to be done then?

The Honor Code is not going to go away. It will continue to be the subject of headlines, both good and bad. For those concerned, the best thing to do is simply keep living the Honor Code.

The benefits of the Honor Code are very apparent. BYU is more than a sports program. It is a university dedicated to educating students for life in the real world. The Honor Code teaches the valuable lesson to always put your best foot forward. From a university standpoint, that is the benefit and measure of the honor code.

As a university of higher education, BYU regularly has national and international dignitaries and diplomats visiting the campus. Many of these distinguished guests are so impressed they comment on how immaculate, beautiful, and clean the grounds are. After observing the students, they often remark that the student body is so happy.

This is why BYU has, and will continue to have, the Honor Code. The Honor Code brings out the best in people, who in turn, make their surroundings the best they can be. When you live the Honor Code, you put your best foot forward, which is something I think everyone can understand.

The more that you put your best foot forward the better off you are. You will be more respected at work and have better professional opportunities in the future. You will be more loved by your family and enjoy better relationships with them. You will be a more productive member of society and have a greater sense of satisfaction and fulfillment in life.

BYU believes that this applies to athletes just as much as it does to artists, scientist, administrators, historians, and engineers. That is why no one gets a free pass. It is also why many student athletes choose to come to BYU and live the Honor Code, even after graduating.

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