Jim McMahon On BYU Honor Code “I saw a lot of hypocrisy when I was there. That’s what turned me off about it.”

March 4, 2011 – 9:15 am by Steven Cuce

The BYU Cougars continue to dominate the headlines of college basketball as we inch closer-and-closer to “March Madness” time, but this year it looks to be for all the wrong reasons. BYU is currently ranked #3 in the country behind player of the year candidate, Jimmer Fredette, who is the top scorer in the NCAA. The Cougars were poised to make a big run in March, but news broke out this week that starting forward, Brandon Davies, has been dismissed from BYU for the remainder of the season because he violated the team’s sacred honor code. A little rundown here of Brandon Davies value to the Cougars from our guys here at SRI concludes: This is a significant blow because Davies started 26 of their 29 games and was the team’s leading rebounder as well. Without him, the Cougars lose one of the few big men that they have on their roster and will be forced to play even more up-tempo than they do right now.

In the last twenty-four hours we have come to find out the reason why Davies was dismissed and it was due to the fact that he had sex with his girlfriend. Apparently that is a no-no in Cougars land. Here are all the facts on BYU’s honor code, but most sports fan would argue this truly is an atrocity that this young man was thrown off the basketball team due to his off the court relationship with his girlfriend. I think we all understand BYU has an honor code that each player knows of going into school, but maybe there needs to be some revising because honestly can anyone bet that 75% of the team or school follows this rule. At the end of the day it’s a crushing blow to the basketball program as they were demolished by New Mexico, 82-64, in their first game since Davies’ dismissal. Jim McMahon attended BYU before his glory days in Chicago. He chimed in on the BYU honor code madness.

Jim McMahon joined WQAM with Gino Torretta and Steve White to discuss what was his reaction was to Brandon Davies being dismissed from BYU after violating the honor code, how much has the honor code changed since he went to BYU with the advent of the internet, if Jimmer Fredette violated the honor code would he have been thrown off the team, did he know the honor code existed when he first decided to go to BYU and does the administration abide by the honor code that the students are under.

We’ve been talking about the honor code and Brandon Davies. We know it’s BYU, but what is your reaction?

“That doesn’t surprise me. It’s been going on for years there so. I actually just read that on the ESPN deal you know he [Brandon Davies] got kicked out for having sex with his girlfriend. That’s part of their code I guess, but I know it happens. I know it’s been happening for years, but some guys get caught, some guys don’t.”

How much has it changed since you went to BYU with the advent of the internet. Would you imagine it’s the same honor code you had to follow?

“Well I wouldn’t imagine it’s any different. Like you said with all the things going on nowadays the IPhones, tweets, and all this kind of crap, I mean I don’t see the campus any differently. I mean they’re college kids, man they’re going to do things. You know sometimes people will tell on you and sometimes they won’t.”

BYU has the leading the scorer in the country on their team. If Jimmer Fredette would have violated the code would he have been thrown off the team if he violated the honor code?

“Well again that’s…I don’t know what they would have done. Like I said I’m sure there’s other players on that team and probably in the whole school who are still doing things they probably shouldn’t according to the honor code, but  it happens.”

Did you know this honor code existed when you got there? Did they explain it to you?

“They explain it to you. They say ‘Oh we have this honor code. People will probably talk to you about the religion and this and that.’ They said ‘All you have to do is tell them I’m not interested.’ But I have to say I’m not interested for five years before I get out. It was everyday you get hounded by it.”

I gotta think the people who are enforcing these rules are not abiding by all of them? They have to have skeletons in their closet don’t they?

“Well I saw a lot of hypocrisy when I was there and that’s what turned me off about it. Guys in administration, higher ups, sneaking off for coffee, these kinds of things that are supposedly illegal too yet some people get away with it and some don’t.”

Listen to Jim McMahon on WQAM

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  1. 16 Responses to “Jim McMahon On BYU Honor Code “I saw a lot of hypocrisy when I was there. That’s what turned me off about it.””

  2. I laughed the year it was determined Jim McMahon was too controversial an individual to coach the lingerie bowl.

    I had an athletic scholarship at BYU 15 years ago. With all respect to Jim, the hypocrisy is gone. When he was recruited the unofficial policy was to have athletes live off campus so that nobody would witness their behavior. Occasionally a player would be reported by a zealot, but most turned a blind eye.

    That changed in the late ’90s. The star running back was suspended just prior to the bowl game. Athletes are now told that suspensions will follow every reported incident. It does not matter who the player is or how important they are to the team; Jenkins, Mahe, Unga all ended up on NFL teams following suspensions. 2001-2003 essentially the entire defensive backfield was suspended which cost, in part, the head coach his job.

    BYU recruits differently today. Their first priority is to bring in athletes that will embrace these guidelines and last the full five years. It is my understanding that the head football coach has a paragraph in his contract regarding student adherence to the Honor Code.

    Remember US News and World Reports ranks BYU the #1 Stone Cold Sober University every year. This is a real culture. Do all athletes follow these guidelines 100%? No, but a surprising number do. We can all be assured that 100% of the reported incidents are responded to in this manner.

    I appreciate the things Jim accomplished at BYU, and I hope he takes those last few classes so he can be officially introduced into BYU’s college athlete Hall of Fame.

    By Floyd Johnson on Mar 4, 2011

  3. FuCK BYU!!! Hypocrites!!

    By Mike on Mar 5, 2011

  4. I went to school with Jim McMahan (same class)and respect his abilities and thank him for helping bring BYU into the forefront of college football, but I have to strongly disagree. With all due respect, Jim McMahan is not a reasonable person to ask about the honor code. He flaunted antics; Coach Edwards and BYU have publically have regretted not dealing with it. Maybe a better representative of BYU to ask about the Honor Code was his former teamate and All-American receiver Glenn Kosoloski who was expelled from school for honor code violations. Not only did he come back to BYU to have a great career, he credits Coach Edwards for helping him get his life in order. I strongly disagree with the assertion that 75% of the students could not live up to those standards. I expect it is more like less than 20%, if that. When you expect more out of people, they deliver more. We should not settle for mediocrity.

    By Roby Hunt on Mar 5, 2011

  5. Jimbo has been given another “bully pulpit” to about how he was wronged all those years ago. It still saddens me that the I sent my hard earned, much needed $5 bucks to the “McMahon For Heisman” campaign as a starving college student. I honestly didn’t know about all of his antics until after Jim left school, but to bite the hand that coddled him, fed him, protected him and gave him a multiple chances…..sad….know pathetic!

    The Honor Code is a life style and a privilege to live. As another Cougar Alum stated recently, the lifestyle brings happiness to those who live it because it keeps you free from the consequences of bad choices. Not only that, it gives you guidelines that are very similar to those “silly old 10 Commandments” that I believe most Christians in this country us claim to follow. Hmmmm? I wonder if God meant to have Moses call them the 10 Suggestions….if you feel like following them?!?!?

    I still appreciate the great things that McMahon did on the field for BYU. I just wish that he could find a way to stay in the public eye and on the golf course (on someone else’s dime) without having to besmirch his Alma mater.

    By Gary in Kentucky on Mar 5, 2011

  6. McMahon says regarding the honor code “I saw a lot of hypocrisy when I was there”….that’s because he was looking in the mirror. He signed the honor code and never intended to follow it…and of course, didn’t. No one at BYU is perfect…and certainly least of all me.
    But, McMahon used BYU to get where he wanted to go because they were the best school to use his amazing talents. But it surely gets tiresome listening to him call other’s hypocritical when he’s wearing those boots big time.

    By Rand Eltreo on Mar 5, 2011

  7. I played football at BYU and am close to the program today many years later. I admit players got away with more in the McMahon years than today, but I highly doubt that administrators were breaking the rules. Jim was known for flaunting his breaking of the rules and was proud of it. Today, the honor code is high-lighted by the coaching staff and administration to all student athletes, and emphasized that they don’t come to the school if they won’t honor the contract they sign and those who violate it are appropriately dealt with when a violation is known.

    By Mack on Mar 5, 2011

  8. Sad, I loved watching McMahon play, but where is the ‘honor’ in Jimbo. He signed and agreed to the ‘honor code’, yet he intentionally flaunted it. Everyone knew about his drinking problems at the Y, that sadly weren’t dealt with as they would be today. Yes, even BYU has learned that ‘honor’ is more important than winning. For all of you boobs who despise BYU for its ‘honor’ code, shame on you! I don’t see you belittle the military academies for kicking out students who can’t comply with their standards. Before you point the finger of hypocrisy at BYU any more, maybe you should look into the mirror more often.

    By Gary on Mar 7, 2011

  9. Being a BYU Alumni and involved around the athletic department, we can say what we want. But, it always comes back to our own personal integrity and honesty. When one points their finger at another person or system (BYU) we must remember that their are always three fingers pointing back at the pointer. I was their when Jim was and I was not impressed with him. Just because he played football didn’t make him a man or much more a gentleman. That is the greater title to have.

    By Steve from California on Mar 7, 2011

  10. Seems like Jim with his self-centered antics in college, pros, and still today would be the least qualified to discuss honor. He only honors his own ego. Still as arrogant as ever.

    By Ray on Mar 8, 2011

  11. I was a Jim Mcmahon fan for 10 years 1980 to 1990.Some say rules are made to be broken, that is not the case. It is how rules are inforced and pressured on people.he is their to play football,and to go to school.

    By Richard S. Mack on Mar 14, 2011

  12. So if you are not Mormon you still have to sign the “honor code”. I just wonder how he Brandon Davies got caught?? No one talks about that. Is it written into the “honor code” that you have to be a stool pigeon? I’ve heard that it’s like that at BYU. What’s sad is that BYU will be one and gone tonight without their center and 3rd leading scorer. He will fit right in the NBA though. So none of the students drink coffee there. I’ve always liked Jim M because he told it as it was. Funny that he made it through BYU without this silly honor code violations. College life is supposed to be fun….sounds like a very uptight, repressed and watch your back environment down in Happy Valley.

    By Brian B on Mar 17, 2011

  13. Willis Player: “A liberal is a person whose interests aren’t at stake at the moment.”

    By UEFA Euro Football Tournament on Jan 21, 2012

  1. 4 Trackback(s)

  2. Mar 4, 2011: Jim McMahon on the BYU honor code: ‘I saw a lot of hypocrisy when I was there’ | Off the Bench
  3. Mar 5, 2011: Jim McMahon Talks About B.Y.U.'s Honor Code - NYTimes.com
  4. Mar 5, 2011: The Fifth Down: Jim McMahon Talks About B.Y.U.’s Honor Code | Il Neurone USA
  5. Mar 14, 2011: BYU Honor Code & Brandon Davies | Inside Sports

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