BYU announced it will no longer respond to media inquiries about athletes who violate the university’s Honor Code.
Until now, BYU had been fairly open in explaining why athletes were suspended and what they did. BYU Athletics director Tom Holmoe explained the change in a 45-minute question-and-answer session with the media on Tuesday.
“This would be a good time to say that over the last year we have had discussions with people on campus regarding an Honor Code policy, and we have had a number of discussions that have led to the point where when we receive inquiries from the media about Honor Code issues we no longer will address them from a campus perspective,” Holmoe said.
Holmoe also said the school will only comment on violations if the athlete himself or herself begins a discussion about it. The other exception is if the violation in question is public knowledge or deals with an arrest or police involvement.
In 2011, much attention shed light on BYU basketball player Brandon Davies, who was suspended for the season for a violation of the Honor Code. Nationwide coverage led to unwanted attention on Davies’ part. Similarly last fall, BYU linebacker Spencer Hadley was suspended for a few games because photos were posted on social media of him partying in Las Vegas.
“I think that just in terms of over the course of a few years, with social media and the amount of media, it has changed over the years. … The time had come to change that,” Holmoe said at the conference. “I think everybody on campus was supportive to go through the process which we arrived at.”
BYU coaches will now refer to athletes’ Honor Code violations simply as violations of team rules.