Reno Mahe understands how Brandon Davies feels.
Mahe, a star football player at BYU 13 years ago, said he didn't take the Mormon school's strict honor code seriously.
Davies, a 6-foot-9 center for Mormon college Brigham Young University (BYU), violated the school’s honor code banning sex before marriage.
The BYU honor code stipulates that students must "be honest, live a chaste and virtuous life…use clean language" and abstain from alcohol, tobacco, tea, coffee and drugs. It also bars gambling, use of pornography and homosexual behavior, though "feelings or attraction" are allowed.
Davies was suspended this past Tuesday for having sex with his girlfriend.
Mahe said, "A girl I was dating at the time, my girlfriend at the time, was pregnant."
He was kicked off the football team for having pre-marital sex.
Mail Online reports Davies, averaging 11.1 points and a team-best 6.2 rebounds per game this season, was playing for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints school. The team, ranked third nationwide before its shock 82-64 loss on Wednesday to unranked New Mexico, will now be without Davies for at least the rest of the season.
The school’s code also obliges students to be honest and regularly attend church.
Davies’ coach Dave Rose said that all students who attend BYU make a commitment to follow the rules of the college.
ABC News reports that after his dismissal from the school, Mahe went to play football for a junior college for a year and reapplied to BYU, this time with full reverence for the rules. He was readmitted and drafted to the NFL before he could finish his degree. He played five seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles.
A year ago, the star running back for BYU's football team, Harvey Unga, had to withdraw from the school along with his girlfriend, a basketball player for the college's women's team, because they were having sex. The couple had been dating for three years and they later married.
BYU’s conduct code is recognized as one of the most stringent in the nation. Spokeswoman Carri Jenkins told the Salt Lake Tribune that in the past decade, the university’s Honor Code Office had contact with between 1.5 percent and 3.5 percent of the student population, mostly for minor infractions involving clothing and grooming violations.
According to the 2010 National College Health Assessment, about 69 percent of 95,712 students surveyed at 139 schools said they had been sexually active in the past year.
Many schools consider athletes public ambassadors and hold them to stricter standards than the student body, said Marie Hardin, associate director of research at Penn State’s Center for Sports Journalism.
In a 2006 study of Big 10 athletes, Hardin found that when student athletes do run afoul of school policies, they are subjected to “saturation” media coverage that skews public perception of their behavior. Her study found less than 1 percent of Big 10 athletes got in legal trouble, which is “much lower than people might think it is.”