Last week I wrote a column saying BYU made the right move in announcing linebacker Spencer Hadley had been suspended for violation of the school’s honor code. Late in the week, I was even more convinced.
The reason was the suspension of star receiver Cody Hoffman, who missed the Middle Tennessee State game due to “violation of team rules.”
By specifying Hadley’s honor code violation, BYU not only reiterated its standards to fans, players and recruits, but differentiated between team and university sanctions (though they can sometimes be the same). Had BYU merely announced Hadley was suspended for violating team rules, it would have appeared that Hoffman and Hadley had basically broken the same rules.
In combining everything into the “violation of team rules” category, it would fail to differentiate between small things, like missing a team meeting, and major infractions of the honor code. Making the distinction might embarrass to honor code violator, but the team rules violator could be embarrassed if the suspensions are treated equally.
The Hoffman case illustrates the reason school and team violations shouldn’t be treated the same.
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